It’s a tough feeling to be homesick for a place that most people wouldn’t see as a home. You say you are homesick but no one really understands how that is possible.
No electricity. No running water. No McDonalds. No television. No computers.
Everyone focuses on the differences. How could I possibly miss a place that doesn’t have these basic ‘necessities’?
I miss being able to lay in my hammock all day and read. I miss the quiet. I miss the kids waiting for me to cook fritters in the morning for breakfast. I miss sitting and enjoying my cup of coffee. I miss drinking warm Coke out of a glass bottle. I miss baking cookies in a brick oven. I miss listening to the radio. I miss laughing with my sisters because I can’t cook nshima. I miss eating chick peas with watered down tomato sauce and some masala. I miss riding my bike. I miss waking up at 6am to sit and wait for transport to show up at 11am. I miss eating sweet potatoes for dinner. I miss the rain. I miss guinea fowl eggs. I miss teaching the kids to play uno. I miss colouring pages and crayons laying all around my house. I miss playing frisbee. I miss talking with the old ladies. I miss Joy.
I’ve been gone for almost 2 years. The time has flown by. I’m living in an entirely different place, with an entirely different life style, with an entirely different job.
Now I see people come and go. They all deal with their experiences differently. I try not to interfere, especially when I can see they are processing. I understand the need to process and try not to judge people’s opinions. I want to share my experiences but this is hard. Only a small hand full of people really understand. And I still can’t explain what I experienced without people immediately focusing on the differences.
They don’t have access to medical care. They don’t have electricity. They don’t have safe drinking water. They don’t, they don’t, they don’t.
Yes. This is true. But…
They have dreams-Jacqueline wants to become a nurse. They are smart-Scotty can do maths a grade above his classmates. They work hard-Sandra bakes and sells cakes to other families. They laugh.
Some people call them a cause. I call them my family.
And I am homesick.