I’m sitting opposite Carolyn as she listens to a travel alert on her computer so she can scare the holy doody out of herself before she heads to Africa to work with Kuza, a fabulous organization that helps young people in Uganda attend college. Apparently now there is just the slightest chance she could be riddled with bullet holes prior to the trip home.
Here’s what I love about Carolyn: She is Lucy Ricardo. I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: You say, “Hey, Carolyn, you want to–” and she is signed up, suited up and waiting with the car running before you’ve completed your sentence. If no one has suggested an adventure in, oh, say the past seventy-two hours, she will surely come up with something. It will be big. It will be whacky. It will require inoculations.
So when she heard about Kuza’s work in Uganda, she said to me, “I’m going to go to Uganda someday.” She occasionally confuses the words “someday” and “tomorrow.”
She’s already taking medication to ward off malaria and rabid dysentery and has been inoculated for yellow fever, red fever, pretty much every color of fever known to humankind. She leaped first. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are best buds; it takes me an hour to decide whether to go to Bi-Mart.
I think about things. A lot. One might argue “too much,” but at least I am prepared. Carolyn had no idea how to spell dysentery until I mentioned that I’d Googled it and that she could get it. Now, I’m sitting across from her as she reads about it. She’s turning a mite green, but that’s okay; she’s informed.
I love being Carolyn’s friend. She’s gets me into all sorts of situations I would never get into on my own. She’s the reason I nearly got strangled in a Krav Maga class and almost got arrested in a NY subway. I was with her when she stopped the car to try to break up a street fight in Woodburn. I have seen her fly across the country to pick up a baby she didn’t know she was going to parent until only a day before, and I’ve watched her enroll her five kids in a school I told her about only that evening. Split decisions that turn out beautifully are her gift. So is steadfast friendship. Should I have the need, I know she would fly to the ends of the earth to accompany me on whatever adventure I get into my head (after a suitable mental incubation period, of course).
She’ll be in Uganda eighteen days if the typhoid doesn’t get her. I’m going to miss her. I will have to go on some kind of adventure while she’s gone. Oh, what the heck: Bi-Mart, here I come.
Safe journey, Carolyn.