Shining, Shimmering, Splendid.

The desert. The Sahara desert. An experience that can’t be conveyed through words or throught photos. An experience that we talked about how we were all taking so many photos and that none of them would capture the majestic nature of what we were seeing. An experience that we would tell about and they’d say “Oh, that’s so cool!” and we’ll nod and think “Of course it is.” but we’ll also know that they’ll never be able to fathom just how cool it is without experiencing it for themselves. It was an experience where I was looking to the distance and thinking about how it looked exactly like a stock desktop wallpaper you’d see when you first got a new computer and how I literally was living inside of a screensaver. There was a time when I woke up in the middle of the night, looked up at the stars after the moon had set, thought to myself how cool it was, and then turned over and went back to sleep. Did I take pictures of everything? No. Because it wouldn’t be enough, it wouldn’t convey what I wanted it to convey. Did I take plenty of pictures though? Yes, because I still want to rub it in everyone’s face that I was riding a camel in the Sahara. Heather/Javier, you were truly a great camel and I really feel you took after your dad, me. I’m not sure how other volunteers confused your genitals with that of a lady but they did so originally you were Heather to me. A fashion queen I referred to you as due to your pierced nose. A king you became though. I knew we were quite a match when I sat atop you and you instantly started pooping. Knowing it would make your father proud, you proceeded to poop and sometimes pee the entire trek. From what I heard from the girl behind me, you never seemed to quit. Ever. You did seem to try to throw me off more than any of the other people except that’s noteven true because one boy was thrown off his camel entirely. Which then started a small, temporary, mini stampede where I began to run for my life to avoid one of their giant legs. Well, Javi didn’t move during that stampede though. He was a chill guy. What else happened though? Hmm, in the span of one weekend I spent 20 hours on a bus ride where I didn’t have much leg room. That was unforunate. I got to see tables and fountains made out of fossils millions of years old that sold for prices I could only dream of. I got to fail miserably at climbing up giant sand dunes, only to eventually reach the top because I persevered and found an easier route of which to ascend. There are other stories to tell, I just don’t know how to tell them. I don’t know how to properly express the experience of laying outside under the stars, listening to Sigur Ros, and closing my eyes and seeing things I’d never seen before. This is something I struggle writing down because I’m not sure what happened or how to explain it. All I know is that I laid down, and I turned on some music from Iceland and I closed my eyes and I felt like I was on a rollercoaster. A rollercoaster through the entirety of earth and it’s future and it’s past. That I was speeding through and traveling seeing the mountains, seeing the ocean, seeing the rainforest, seeing the rise and fall of civilization through my very eyes. Upon taking out my headphones, I couldn’t get the magic back. I just laid there in a state of dumbfounded elation and drifted off to sleep. I have no idea if it was the specific music, if it was the magical sand of the desert, or if it was just a combination of everything. It was just an experience. An experience I can’t help but recommend to anyone who ever has the chance to do so. Ride a camel, play in the soft sand, stare at a moon so bright that it hurts your eyes. Live it up. So it goes.

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