Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Great Mzungo Migration

It was surreal leaving Kiirua this morning. After wrestling everything into a very heavy suitcase, a jam packed back pack, a small duffel bag and a knapsack, I finally found a place for everything I'm bringing home. I hate traveling with twelve million bags. My general rule is that if I can't carry it myself then I have to bring less. I usually stubbornly refuse to use one of the airport trolleys and end up huffing and puffing my way from baggage claim to the car. As much as I would love to abide by my own rule for this trip, it simply was not possible. I tried really hard but I have accumulated a lot of stuff apparently. I even gave away the majority of the clothes I brought with me and still seem to have way to much stuff. I suppose I could blame the mass quantities of aprons I have packed but I haven't been able to convince my self that they are to blame yet. So for the first time in my memory, I will be traveling with more than I can carry by myself, and will be a trolley full of too much baggage yielding tourist at the Nairobi airport tomorrow night.

I don't like goodbyes. I usually don't really even acknowledge them, I just say goodbye to people as if I will be seeing them the next day. Although I go off to school for months at a time without seeing people, I see everyone again eventually. It's weird to imagine that the people I didn't say goodbye to here will likely be people I never see ever again. I'd love to say I'll be back, and I really do hope I will be eventually, but who knows where these people will be or when I will finally make it back to Kenya. I couldn't help but wonder if my hatred for goodbyes had an impact on the types of relationships I have built since arriving in June. Knowing that I was leaving in 3 months with the high probability of never seeing these people again, did I subconsciously distance myself and prevent myself from getting closer than I did with these people? I've been really lucky to have met some really great people throughout this trip, but I wonder how different my relationships to these great people would be if I had not known I would be leaving. How often do we limit ourselves because we predict an unfavorable outcome? Holding ourselves back may be a defense mechanism against failure, but it simultaneously eliminates any possibility of success. Although I am a believer in trusting my instincts, learning how to selectively shut off the voice in the back of my head may be a valuable skill to acquire.

I start my 24 hour+ migration back to Canada tomorrow night and am looking forward to catching up on my movie watching. The past 3 months have been like living in a bubble; although I was aware of what was going on in the real world, it didn't really affect me too much. Getting back to real life with bills and a job and classes and homework is going to be rough. Although it will probably be rougher on my friends and family who have to listen to me stressing out about it all than it will be on me.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kp

    A pretty insightful blog. It is very hard to say goodbye- I always hate em, and cry often. I can only imagine the "fun" of trying to fit everything into the luggage. I can't believe you gave away your Kenya brown skirt! See you tonight- by now you are flying over the Atlantic. Home awaits.