Thursday, 24 March 2011
Anywhere But Home
Katie, from the USA, living in Zambia.
You know that feeling? The ‘anywhere but here’ feeling? The ‘I don’t belong here’ feeling? It’s the feeling I seem to get every time I go back to Zambia, my current country of residence, from anywhere “civilized”. I always feel, well, glum – like I don’t belong there, like I want to go back to where I was. It normally passes after about a week, but for that week all I can think of is how slow moving Zambia is. How few opportunities there are. How hot and crowded and dirty it is. How the people don’t understand my sense of humor, and my view of the world. And how could they? They haven’t been where I’ve been, they haven’t seen what I’ve seen. I spend a week cringing at every outing and conversation. I am conscious of this yet I can’t shake it. I’m also conscious of the fact that if you had asked me four years ago to go overseas for a week I would have spent it cringing and dying for Zambia. I know I love the country and the people. I know I love my life there. I love my routines and the diversity; I love the innocence of the people and the willingness to learn. I love Zambia. But for a week I’d rather be anywhere else. I don’t understand it, I’ve talked to other MKs and they say they’ve had the same feelings. I don’t know if it’s just a part of growing up and finding out who we are and where we belong or if it’s just some kind of spiritual warfare. Whatever it is I’m currently sitting on a plane praying that I get over it quickly this time.