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Sabbatical’s End

Four and a half months after I stopped work and planned to engage in a sabbatical of sorts, I’m back. I flew in from Kenya a day ago, and am now in Orlando as I prepare to help my parents move cross-country to San Francisco.

In many ways, I’m still recovering from Kenya, and cannot yet distill that complex and amazing experience into a weblog entry. In the coming days, I hope to write a thematic series of articles on the various aspects of my time there, which might be a better way of doing justice to it. For now, it’s just hard to adjust to life in the US, and life away from my friends old and new at Tumaini.

I certainly have a lot to think about and process. Between 3 weeks of touring with the New Frontiers, spending 6 weeks at Schloss Mittersill in Austria, and now living 8 weeks in rural Kenya, I’ve had a number of new experiences, and noticed a lot of things about the world and myself which call for introspection, integration, and response.

As I look forward to my future both near and far, I find that I’m more confused about what I can and should do, not less! In that sense, the sabbatical did not live up to my hopes! But I’m beginning to see that this place is probably right where I should be, despite my desires for easy clarity. I think God and other people gave me so many unlooked-for gifts during this time away, albeit sometimes through hard circumstances, so it has been a slow process of gaining the eyes to see their goodness! I’m sure that process will continue in the next weeks and months.

Now, I must focus on re-inserting myself into the matrix of life here, finding work, and pondering next steps. There’s an exciting freedom in not knowing where I will be in a year, let alone two months! But I hope that the right path, if there is such a thing, will present itself to me in enough time to follow it. It usually does, I guess.

So that’s all for now–please stay tuned for the Kenya series, pictures, and other announcements during the next few weeks!

By Jonathan Lipps

Jonathan has been making things out of code as long as he can remember. Jonathan is the architect and project lead for Appium, the popular open source automation framework. He is also the founding Principal of Cloud Grey, a consulting firm devoted to helping clients leverage the power of Appium successfully. He has worked as a programmer in tech startups for over 15 years, but is also passionate about academic discussion. Jonathan has master’s degrees in philosophy and linguistics, from Stanford and Oxford respectively. Living in Vancouver, he’s an avid musician, and also writes on the philosophy of technology.

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