The day had been long, too hot, and a lot of hard work, in short it was relentless in spades. Keisha never figured that once she was officially classified as a senior she would find herself going to Africa as a volunteer in the Peace Corps. But, nonetheless here she was working in a small town out in the middle of nowhere, the small town's name would mean nothing to most, but Keisha doubted she would ever forget it, or it's people.
She was working in the capacity as a teacher and quasi nursing assistant; as the volunteer's to come out and work here in the middle of nowhere to minister to; and teach the children and people of this village were almost nil.
Keisha was a tall, well built woman, with a sharp mind, and a strong will which is exactly what was needed here in no man's land, lord knows you had to be accepting of each day otherwise you wouldn't last the for the duration.
Today had been the once a week go see day as they had called it, whereas a doctor, nurse, and nursing assistant (Keisha), complete with bandages, medicines, dehydrated food and bottled water made the rounds of several of the small nearby villages.
Now back at the compound all she wanted to do was take a nice cool shower and wash the whole hot day off of her body, and hoping in doing so she would feel not only cleaner, but rejuvenated. She headed outside for the poor, but adequate makeshift shower all the volunteer's used.
As she sat on her cot now all clean and fresh from her cold shower, she was going over her mail which had been placed on her cot in a bag until her return of course this meaning the mail was several day old, but nonetheless a welcome sight always. To her it was like xmas as she was so blessed to have so many friend's back home who truly cared and even worried about this woman a senior in a place no one even heard of.
There were letters from home from her family etc. and a rather large official looking one from Peace Corps headquarters. She opened it slowly and read, this is to inform you Keisha Lawrence that your tour in Africa is now over as your one year is up on August 13th, please find your return airfare ticket enclosed, etc. etc.
Keisha sat there my gosh one year, where did it go, I feel like I have only been here five minutes, it must be my age, or I was having fun, she smiled to herself. She checked the date of the airfare ticket and she was booked on a flight in just 3 days; well at least I won't have to worry about packing my wardrobe here; it has been sparse to say the least, she laughed silently to herself.
Before she knew it she had left a year's worth of hard work, sweet memories, and many new and dear friends behind in the darkest of Africa, but they would never be lost to her for they would always be in her heart.
She felt proud of herself and glad she had taken this tour and hardship with the Peace Corps, it was truly an experience one does not forget, she relived some of the moments whilst enroute back home. Then suddenly Keisha was jarred back to the present by the pilot announcing that they would be landing at Kennedy Airport within the next 10 minutes, barring no hold ups.
After arriving back in New York she picked up her car rental; and was driving it back home to Pennsylvania, now she couldn't get back fast enough she had missed the lovely green trees the farmlands, and the peacefulness of the Pocono's, her mountain haven.
As she came closer she felt her heart beat faster as it was now she realized how very much she missed her small comfortable home in the Pocono Mountains, her friendly neighbours, and all the natural beauty around her. She also had missed her special Sunday Brunch after church when she had one of her favorite breakfast foods good old scrapple.
Now home for almost two years now, Keisha sat in front of her lovely riverstone fireplace with a warm fire glowing while she had on the floor before her and in her lap pictures of her one last hurrah as a senior, "My Trip To Africa With The Peace Corps." It said above all the pictures that followed, she smiled softly and gently touched the faces in each picture and remembered the names and that day spent with her children she taught, and others whom she helped nurse.
How could she ever know that soon after arriving back in the states she would be diagnosed with cancer, and a prognosis time frame that came along with it, she remembered the sudden jolt that passed through her as those words were spoken to her.
But, now even though the time frame left was upon her; she never felt cheated or sorry for herself, she had lived each moment of her life with joy and exuberance, and that is what life is all about isn't it. She was still a lovely looking woman striking but so much thinner now, and paler but still her eyes shone with a light that surely came from her soul.
This is the way that all of Keisha's friends both in the states and in Africa will always remember the tall, strong, women with the eyes that shone like an angel's. They would remember too all she had taught them, and how she held them while tending to their ailments. For in her own way to them she was just that an angel, and would ever be in their thoughts.