In the home stretch: the final weeks

Oh man, sometimes this trip’s… a trip. Looking back, I can’t believe now the places I’ve been. The friends I’ve made, and then left.

It’s never been easy. Some places were easier than others, but there was no single point where I could actually understand everything about the culture, or was included in all the conversations (in either French or a local language). Yet still, I’ve made some very lasting connections. And it feels now like it’s all gone by so fast.

In some places, I left behind people whose hearts were breaking to see me go, and in others it was me with the broken heart. That gut-wrenching sickness to the stomach, tears pouring down my face, feeling like there’s no possible reason why I should have to leave this person, or these people, and head back out again into the unknown, just to do it all over again. But then I keep going, because that’s what this is all about. In some weird, twisted way, I’m asking for it.

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So here I am, I’ve just made another series of goodbyes leaving Bamako; had another sobbing, hysterical departure (my Nigerian friend in my Ebola post can attest to that). And found myself again, in the next city, this time Bobo-Dioulasso, feeling deflated and unable to muster the energy to be excited about it. Disinterested in making friends (even though Martin, a Burkinab√© I met my last time through here was thrilled to pass me by on the street; I’ve not returned his calls).

But the thing that’s really getting me right now is the fact that I’ll be home in two weeks.

And I only have a few days left in west Africa before I make a slight stopover in Morocco again.

I don’t even know what to think about that. It’s unbelievable.

At one time it feels like I’ve been gone ages, but at the same time, like I’ve only just left. A very similar feeling I was having in this post, 2 months ago, when preparing to leave Ghana.

I’m caught in this mix of excitement for home, and disappointment that it’s all over. I know there are so many things I love about this place, but I’ve definitely come to realize the many things I take for granted at home. In my other post, I discussed a couple of things I would miss, such as my bed, but I’ve now had the time in my anticipation to compile a much more thoughtful and comprehensive catalogue of the things I will and will not miss.

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