Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Homecoming

It is so strange to be back.

Perhaps it's just the jet-lag and yesterday's 26 1/2 hour door-to-door travel time talking, but being back here in my apartment in Brooklyn is just so... surreal.

On one hand I am, of course, happy to be home. I missed my kitty, and comfy pillows, and a roach-free bathroom (though it does appear that the mice in my kitchen have become much, much bolder in my absence--one of them startled the crap out of me this morning!), and yet...

And yet.

There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I left a piece of my heart in Africa. Only time can tell just how large that piece turns out to be.

I haven't really cried yet. I came close when we left, when the Ugandan Cowboys (as they shall henceforth be known) who made the drive from Kampala to Entebbe at 140km/hr to see us off before we left poured out of a tiny Rav-4 and onto the sidewalk to bestow one last round of bearhugs before we entered the terminal... but was stopped short when I nearly ran over a security guard with my luggage cart.

The lump rose in my throat once more as we sat on the tarmac at Heathrow for 2 hours awaiting the repair of some "minor technical difficulty" as my professor (sitting behind me) relayed the volley of text messages she was receiving from our Ugandan friends--who had indeed begun texting and calling before we'd even boarded our plane in Entebbe--but again the tears did not come.

And as I sit here now, trying to wrap my mind around all I have seen and done and felt in the past two weeks, my eyes are damp and my chest constricted. But still I do not cry.

I do not know when they will come. I only hope that it is somewhere, sometime, when I can truly take a moment and let them fall in the manner in which they deserve.

Sorry, I didn't mean for the first post after my return to be so depressing.

I do want to thank all of my fabulous guest bloggers for keeping the rest of you entertained in my absence! Thank you for the facts, the thoughts, the kind words, the beautiful photos (Lisa, I fixed your post), and of course the award! You are all wonderful, and you can all expect a volley of comments from me over the next few weeks as I catch up on all of your adventures. I shudder to think what Google Reader has in store for me.

And so, odd as it currently seems, I have returned. I am sure that soon enough my life will fall back into its usual rhythm, I will return to my fairly-cheerful self. But today, this morning, as I sit here in my familiar dining room, musing over the contrast between my tan and the cold, gloomy skies outside, I will hold onto this feeling of melancholy, and remember the beautiful country I have so recently left behind.

10 comments:

Jess said...

I cried so hard when I got on the plane to leave Senegal. It was because I tried so hard not to cry when I was saying goodbye to my Senegalese boyfriend, knowing that I would likely never see him again. But it was also for the country and the beauty and the depth and the space between us.

Welcome back. Beautiful photo.

Deutlich said...

Welcome back, doll!

distractedspunk said...

Yay! I'm so glad you're back and that you really had an amazing experience. I've heard so many wonderful things about Africa, I can't wait to hear your stories.

Princess Extraordinaire said...

It is so normal that your heart still lies in Africa - I am glad you enjoyed it so much - welcome back!

Hope said...

I am so glad you're back! And I had real tears as I read this post because I know what you mean about leaving a piece of your heart in Africa.

That place? It is just impossible to ever forget. I am happy that you had the chance to feel that for yourself!

xx

ana said...

Yay welcome back....upload all the travel stories, can't wait to read more....

OC said...

Welcome back! I'm glad you had such a good - and emotional - time in Africa. Can't wait to read more about it.

And the google reader? Don't worry about it. The numbers just keep rising! :)

Stephanie said...

Those memories, those feelings will last forever. And the tears will come, I'm sure.

Glad you're home safe and can't wait to hear (and see!) more of your adventures!

thestoryofagirl said...

I'm glad you're back, but don't be sorry for feeling the way you do. Remember Uganda, and give it the moment it deserves. Don't worry about us, we still enjoy your writing!

Princess Pointful said...

This post was not depressing at all... the notion of yearning for such a place is beautiful!