In honor of today’s rain, I’m reminded of my first African rain storm with Desi d’Amani.
My name is Daniel de Leon (the Giraffe) and rainy days make me reminisce.
Today while the rain pelted the windows, I sat under the covers staring at the pictures hanging on the walls of my little studio. It’s days like today, I wish my dear friend Desi would be readying herself for another adventure…somewhere in the world.
She’s been my constant companion for nearly 5 years and our adventures have spanned thousands of miles, multiple visas and stamps, additional pages and a new passport. We’ve traveled from the sunny weather of California to the hot humid sunrises of Mozambique, Africa furter east to the bustling busy streets of Hyderabad, India. I did not know I was a world traveler, nor did I think I liked traveling until Desi came into my life. On rainy days like today, I can only imagine how boring my life would be if I had never traveled.
I had known Desi d’Amani for only one week when she revealed to me her plans to travel to Africa. Being a giraffe, you would think that I would have already been there, but this was a first for me, and I was not quite sure I would enjoy it. Please do not blame me for thinking that, but I was raised at a wild animal park in San Diego, Ca. The weather is always perfect there, rarely do you have problems with electricity or running water, and there are relatively few mosquitos and none who transmit malaria. What can I say, I was VERY comfortable living my western existence. However upon hearing the news of our upcoming adventure, something deep down began to stir. I knew I was about to embrace a “someday” I had forgotten.
This “someday” as I’m still discovering is one of many “somedays” which are my dreams that I am beginning to check off my bucket list. I may be a giraffe, but I do have a bucket list of somedays that I will fulfill before I leave this place. Anyway, I was living in such a comfortable existence that I had stopped even thinking about these things deep in my heart, which as a giraffe, for your information, happens to be largest sized heart of all land mammals.
On the day of our flight, I was nervous, excited and very aware that my life was never going to be the same…and it hasn’t been. Since that first trip to Mozambique, we have gone seven times, have lived there and have made friends and become family with some incredible people. I will share stories another day of these adventures, but let me leave you with this image to whet your appetite until the next rainy day. Days like today, cold and blurry, watery rhythms drumming on the window panes make me miss the warm sun and dirty dirt of my African home, and I long to see my friends again, and I will…someday…soon.
This is my brother, Joao. He’s much older now, but he was my first Moz friend.
Until next time, remember the somedays within your heart are important to who you are…
Happy Rainy Saturday,
Daniel de Leon
(with Desi d’amani)