Friday, November 7, 2014

The Return

I'm back.  The vast majority of you likely know that from facebook or the like.  I hope you enjoyed this adventure.  I wanted to entertain you. I think I've done at least that.  I hope too that you learned something.  I wanted you to have a glimpse of what it is to live in Cameroon.  In Africa.  As Americans a lot of what we have comes from the news or commercials begging for dollars.  The news shows war and the commercials show poverty, but there is so much more.  I hope your ideas about Africa were broadened. 

Leaving Mbakaou was hard.  I wasn't prepared for it.  I was prepared to leave my country, my friends, my family.  Prepared to learn a new language, a culture, a lifestyle.  I knew working in harsh conditions and in an unknown environment would be hard.  And trying to make friends with so many differences between us could never be easy.  But all that was survivable.  Even failure in those things wouldn't destroy me.  I just told myself it was only for two years.  Really, you can do anything for two years.

But leaving my village for good…  Am I going back there one day?  Can I?  When?  It is a hard thing to explain to people who never really go that far from home.  Who go on a trip and are so excited to be away from home that they call almost everyone while to tell them about it.  Africa is far.  And expensive to get to.  Two weeks of vacation won't really cut it; specially if you want to go home for the holidays or travel somewhere else.  I don't know when I'll be able to visit again.  It was a very… definitive goodbye.  Not an easy thing.  I will miss not just my village, not just my friends, but a way of living.  A lifestyle.  And a home.

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