As I write this, it’s been months since I updated this blog. A very long time.
Simply put, life got busy. I got busy living and wrote it all in my head, and not typed.
I have come to the conclusion that the helpful way to transition back into Canadian life is to write my memories. So that’s what I will do when I get home.
I have two days before I got home to Canada and I am essentially a wreck.
I would call myself a wreck and a mess. Both happily and sadly.
It is without question time to go home, and it is the right decision.
But that doesn’t make it easier or less of a transition.
I never thought I would be where I am with my life.
I came to Tanzania 12 months ago, and it was not an easy transition. In fact it probably couldn’t have been a less smooth journey to acceptance here. But now I love it. I love Dar and I love Tanzania. And my heart breaks a little to leave it. While knowing that it is the best decision and for my life and is a healthy choice to gain perspective. Dually I need to leave to recover from life here.
I also love my home in Canada and I really don’t know how to feel about any of this.
I came to UDSM for an exchange year, and it turned into a life. A real life not just an exchange life.
In the last few months, I extended my time and had a full life. I got a job with a magazine, I traveled, I loved, I lost, I danced, and I lived every minute of every day as much as I could.
Now I am going home, back to Canada for one credit of class at university, and I am stoked to be seeing people I haven’t seen in a year. I am elated that I will get to walk on Carleton campus again as a student, and an employee. I am excited for fall leaves, and Thanksgiving and the first signs of snow, and Halloween, and wearing boots and scarves purposefully, and celebrating Christmas and New Years and family days watching movies and moments of cups of tea and Kettleman’s and being able to pick up the phone when I wait at the bus stops and just call someone. I am so excited for all of these things.
I am also sad to be leaving the things I love here in Dar. The life I have here is great. I am pretty happy. And everyday just feels special. Every day there is so much that could and often does happen. There is an endless supply of possibilities. I have an abundance of memories that overwhelm me and currently thinking of them brings me to tears at the thought. Life here is everything I never imagined it would be when I arrived. I have a lot of people to thank for that and most of these people either know fully that they changed my life, or will never know. There are now things I have crossed off my life list. I have lived and I am scared going home that these feelings will stop. Every day in Tanzania feels like a gift not to be wasted, a little shinier than other days.
And so now, I am torn but it has been said to me, what did I expect? And honestly I have no idea. When I arrived I thought I would live here a year and then… I didn’t think about it. I really did not. I didn’t think about the end, as I never truly do. I am happy to live in the moments, worry minutely about the end but not have realistic expectations of what will happen. Lesson learned there.
The hardest part is that I want everyone at home to know how happy I am to see them and that my sadness is not a reflection of not loving my home and Canadian life. This is entirely separate from my Tanzanian life.
So now, along with going home I face the challenging decisions of what is next? I have a bajillion options for my future and this ties in with going back to Canada. What do I choose?
Laughably, I made a pact with a friend to just make it to Christmas. Just make it to Christmas and things will happen. So that’s what I keep repeating: Just make it to Christmas.
I lead a charmed life where things I don’t expect happen and opportunities fall into place when they are supposed to. I guess in a way the excitement and stress of not yet knowing is getting to me. I have no idea precisely what comes next, and for someone who has planned everything this is a tough one. I planned everything in my life up to going on exchange, coming home and then… that was the plan. I got nothing after that. I have lots of ideas, but no hard decisions yet.
I guess at the end of the day, things, chances and opportunities will reveal themselves to me and I to them. I have no idea what’s next. This is challenging and sad and happy.
With this post I want to thank everyone I met in Tanzania and my travels in Africa. I would never say it was easy, but it has all been worth every single second. I learned so much in the last year that I don’t feel I am even the same person returning, in a positive way.
So here it goes. The beginning of the transition. I will post as often as I feel like now and with photos more often as there is a better internet connection where I will be shortly!
Here goes nothing! See you all soon on the other side.
R and I cuddled up in our Masai blankets in Kondoa at 5am.
Goodbye moments with J.
Zanzibar love, L.
Goodbye to Boda-bodas/ piki-pikis.
And a final goodbye to the view out the windows, literally this is my backyard.
Love to you all and Asante sana and Nashkuru for everything. X