Buh bye, Year of the Sheep. Hellooooo, Year of the Monkey.

IMG_2932_smallerI don’t think it’s coincidence Chinese New Year is Feb. 8, mere days after I moved back to Kenya. Why? Because that’s when the Year of the Sheep ends and the Year of the Monkey begins.

I had no idea when I picked the day to return to Nairobi. But when I saw that piece of trivia floating around the Internet, I laughed. Of course, it’s the Year of the Monkey, how could it not be?

IMG_2909_smallerMy first term in East Africa, I learned to see things differently. Monkeys? Sure, they’re cute. But they’re also little buggers, especially when it comes to nabbing your food and pilfering shiny things.

They, along with so many other experiences (like these elephants, pictured above, in Tarangiri park in Tanzania), showed me just how bigger and different my view of life needed to be.

A week ago, I was schlepping feed to 350-plus hungry sheep and preparing to hand over the day-to-day operations of the farm to someone else. Year of the Sheep? Yes. (Although, there’s some confusion on that point.) And what a year it was. I learned a lot — although I’m still working on what that was exactly.

My time back on the farm wasn’t exactly what I expected. And I’d guess the same will be said of my return to East Africa.

I hear my neighborhood has resident monkeys. While I wait to see what this year has in store, I’m keeping my food and shiny things out of reach.

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