Monday, March 26, 2018

On Surprising Myself... And Missing Africa

You think you know yourself. You live long enough and you kinda learn how you will react in various situations. Except when you don't. And it makes you go Hmmmmm… But I guess that's what makes life unpredictable and interesting.

I have mentioned here that I had a hard time in Ethiopia. My whole family did when we lived there together, then when they left and I stayed behind to finish my assignment, I continued to struggle with certain aspects of living there.

So I was surprised to find myself thinking about Africa now. Fondly. And a lot. I’d be doing the dishes at the kitchen sink. We have a window sink here in Bulgaria and I love window sinks. Sinks with a view. They are kinda dreamy. You do the dishes and you drift off. Or at least I do. I’d be looking out the window while I rinse the dishes and would catch myself looking at Max's playground in our backyard but seeing Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, or the wildlife of Masai Mara in Kenya. Or I’d be sipping a cup of coffee while sitting on the couch looking at the mountain through the living room window but reminiscing about riding camels to the Pyramids in Egypt, or climbing Kilimanjaro in Tanzania or walking on the crunchy crust of the Erta Ale volcano in Ethiopia feeling the heat of the lava rising from below. Then I come to. And I am back in "our" house in Bulgaria. Why do I do that?

I know it’s pointless to compare posts because each one is so different but I can’t help it and I catch myself wondering again and again why I couldn’t love Ethiopia the way I loved India. I wanted to. I tried. The whole time I was there. But it didn't work out that way. I eventually realized that I do love Ethiopia but my feelings for it unfolded very differently. They snuck up on me. They came late and out of nowhere. And while I always think of India by itself, I think of Ethiopia as part of Africa though both of them are very different from the countries around them. Go figure...

What surprised me even more is that I am now dreaming of going back to Africa. I didn’t think I would. I didn’t expect to miss it. Certainly not while I was there. But the truth is Africa has gotten under my skin in unexpected ways and I do want to go back. It’s a huge continent and there’s so much I haven’t seen but for some reason, I want to go to Namibia. And not just to visit. I want to live there, serve there. Which is strange because I have never set foot in the country. I have seen pictures, and have read about it, of course. I know people who have served there. I have a friend who is posted there right now. She says it’s her best post yet. Maybe that's why…

While I was still in Africa I started listening to African music. Just like that. On a whim. One day while I was cleaning the house, I wanted to listen to music but I needed something different, so I did a random search for best African music or something silly like that on youtube and started listening. I fell in love with some of the songs and videos. Some of them are cheesy, of course, but some are witty and fun, and African beats are pretty darn awesome, so it was a welcome distraction. I put together a playlist of my African faves on youtube. When I miss Africa, I play it. Sometimes, I run to it. A lot of the music (though not all) is Nigerian but that's what I stumbled on and it grew on me, even though I've never been to Nigeria either. It brings back memories and it makes me happy. Here it is, if you want to hear it:

And yeah, I know it's getting old and am always on the lookout for more African music to love, so if you have any suggestions, go ahead leave them in the comments. Thanks!

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