The six Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo elephants were introduced to the public yesterday! I get to meet them today! I am so proud of our city and our zoo for rescuing these elephants when their reserve in Swaziland needed us.
I have written more letters to Swaziland than to any country on earth. The memory of the country makes me smile, though I have never visited.
In my pre-veterinary years at Lincoln, I was offered the chance of a lifetime, two years in Swaziland and perhaps a lifetime of traveling and adventure after that.
I declined without a second thought. I was hell-bent on vet school. Why would anyone think I would veer off course? Not for adventure (which has never been my thing) and not even for love. I declined, not indignantly, but sort of sadly. I think I knew that ours was a diverging road.
A year into Zach's commitment with the Peace Corps in Swaziland, I told him, via the lightweight light blue airmail letter-envelope combination we had been communicating with all this time, that I needed to say goodbye.
Letters continued between Swaziland and America, but became less frequent. They became friendlier and lighter. It wasn't a heartbreak on my end so much as a soft heartache. I hope it was as gentle for Zach.
He needed to go as much as I needed to stay. He needed someone - if he needed anyone at all - as crazy for him as I was for my hoped for career. I needed someone - if I needed anyone at all, which I thought I did not - who was so madly in love with me that even if he were offered an incredible once in a lifetime opportunity half a world away, he wouldn't dream of going without me.
I'm glad he went. I'm glad I stayed. I am glad the elephants are here now. I cannot wait to meet them. Russ and I are going to see them today as soon as the zoo opens.
9 pm - I realized today after a friend's Facebook post - today would be her 20th anniversary, which also makes today exactly 20 years since I have seen Zach. Weird.