After some pushing from a friend, I realized it’s been a while since I’ve spilled on this thing. Things have been slow for the most part, but time has been going quickly. December was a hard month. I remember looking back at the end realizing I hadn’t really done anything. I was mostly just going through the motions.
A large percentage of the students left, some for the month, but most for good. So, things were pretty uneventful for a while, we planned a Christmas break for those of us who remained, and I just kind of waited. Christmas and my birthday happened, and it was lonely. There’s a quote from the book West with the Night that speaks to my feelings now and how I sometimes feel about being here in general.
’It’s been four years since I left Nairobi, and there haven’t been many letters,’ he ran the tip of his tongue over his lips and attempted a smile. ‘People forget,’ he added. ‘It’s easy for a whole group of people to forget just one, but if you’re very long in a place like this you remember everybody you ever met. You even worry about people you never liked; you get nostalgic about your enemies. It’s all something to think about and it helps.’
I think this is relatable to anyone who has up and left for a new place, especially to a culture so different from your own. It’s hard not to think about all the people I’ve left behind and it’s been hard to make friends here, so that doesn’t help either.
One of the biggest struggles I’ve dealt with while being here is that I can never share my new life with anyone I care about from home. No matter how many pictures or stories I share, no one will really live and breath or understand my life here. It’s hard because it makes it that much more isolating, no that you’re almost completely alone in it. No one could truly ever understand what it’s like to live here. No one will meet my family or my friends, walk the streets I walk, or see the work my company does. Nothin’.
This all makes it hard to know that when I come back, I’ll have changed and grown, but no one will know why or how. I know it will feel like this past year of my life has just sort of disappeared. I think that’s why it’s been hard to keep posting. I have stories that I want to share, but it’s hard knowing that the true context and understanding might be missed. I guess that’s my Catch 22.
Either way, I’ll be updating some more in the near future. I even got a new camera for Christmas, so there should be more pictures as well. Woo. It’s hard to believe it’s been over 5 months since I left and I know what time I have left will be gone before I know it.