Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conflict of Emotions, Thursday, September 10, 2009

All these days I wanted to go back home. Now, it feels bad to leave Germany.

Am I alright? Didn't I long for home? Didn't I long for my daughter and my love? What is happening to me? I have just been asking myself these questions. They are valid questions. Things we leave behind do not only cause happiness. They cause sorrow as well, even if it might be temporary sadness.

Why do good things come to an end? That same question by Nelly Furtado. Put rightly, Why do all things come to an end?

I was used to Charles, a Project Manager (Africa) at DW Academy. He is a wonderful, wise man. Carla was a lecturer who exercised our minds. Christiane was a wonderful help throughout our stay here. She was our guide and proved useful, partly because she studied a lot of history and art in college, partly because she has a good command of the English language.

Alexanderia was a hardworker, making sure our stay was comfortable. She carries a listening ear, too. Pamela was just wonderful. We were beginning to like each other, to understand that humanity is one (never mind skin colour).

Just as this sense of one global identity was sinking deep into us, enabling me to survive the weeks I have been away from home, here I am about to board an aeroplane to leave for Malawi.

It feels bad. The closing today was emotional. And very helpful. To be honest, this has been a powerful course, a take off for me into a management flight. The 11 participants shared information and we were becoming one big family from Africa.

Just at that time when we were getting on with each other, just when we were accepting that we are away from home, just then, time to go back home came.

I am happy to go back home, to my country. No doubt about that, but I am also sad that I am leaving Germany, a place that has been my home away from home for four weeks. Germany: Thank you for your kindness. I am going back home to my beloved country. But Germany know this: You shall remain in my heart, almost always.

Good bye.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Things We Leave behind, Sunday, September 6, 2009

So, here I am. Sunday, September 6, 2009. Still counting down; no, counting days now. I am looking forward to the day I shall fly out of Germany.

No. I think the day I shall fly out of Germany is looking (staring is the right word I think) at me. And it feels bad, you know. Here I am. I have been longing for this day, haven't I? I was here bothering you that I was missing home.

Now it scares me to think of leaving Germany, a place that has been my home away from home for the past three weeks and this week, making it four weeks.

What is this we fear in things we leave behind? When I was flying out of Chileka, I was sad to leave Malawi behind me. And you know what Malawi means: the roads, the hills, the smiles, the markets, and everything else but first and above all, the people, and the loved one.

Now I don't know what is it that should make me feel sorry to leave Germany. Iguess it is human nature to feel sorry on parting with anything. Parting, as I am realising, can be a moment of two faces: one of happiness, another of sadness.

It is just human nature. Happiness because, in my case, I am going back home to see my country, my people, my life; sadness because, in my case too, I am leaving what was becoming part of me: the bed I have slept on for 19 days here in Berlin and eight days in other cities, the corridors I walked, the chair I sat on when working on my laptop, the meals I had, the friends from Africa I met, the friends from church who hugged me yesterday.

We spoke different languages but we got our comfort from serving one God, a God who does not respect skin colour, a God who has endowed us with wisdom to survive in this world.

And then the thought comes: As I am missing home, are people also missing me? Am I a source of happiness in my house? Or those who live with me are happy that I am away? Am I a good manager at work? Or colleagues in my department are happy that their head is away? Are they looking forward to the day I shall be back in the office?

Just thoughts.

It is hard to imagine the sorrow that we carry from things we leave behind. Yet some places cause less sorrow than others. I will feel sorry from leaving Germany, just for a moment. But the joy of going home is far greater than the sorry feeling of leaving Germany.

So I choose home. I choose Malawi, my home, my country.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Places In Between

This was a tough week as well. We left Berlin on Wednesday for Bonn, a long journey on the road, a chance to see places in between.

It is enjoyable to fly from one city to another. But you miss a lot of things in between. I have spent over 40 hours on the roads of Germany and I have seen a lot, heard a lot and experienced a lot. I have seen Germany.

From Bonn, we went to Koeln and proceeded to Hamburg on Thursday from where we left for Berlin on Friday, 290 kilometres, the shortest of the journeys I have made in Germany.

Now back in Berlin, it feels like home, a kind of home away from home. The count down continues, and this week, I think will be the fastest. I am not spending another Saturday here in Berlin.

By this day next week, I will be home, rather at home, if you notice the difference. I will be with the familiar that never gets me tired.

I will be watching the blue skies, and enjoying the heat. I hear it is hot. It is cold here in Germany and I can't wait to go back home to enjoy summer. But most importantly, enjoy Malawian smiles.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Eight Days To Go

Thursday, September 3.

I will be in Malawi by September 12. I have all the reason to believe I will be there; why not? Yet, if for any reason, I am not there, well, so let it be.

But such thoughts cannot stop me from looking forward to being back in my country. I am living for the day I shall be back in my country. I am living for the day I shall see Chileka, descend in the blue skies and admire Nkula falls and the tiny houses whose occupants have a big social network of humanity unlike in these Western lands where each person, it seems to me, lives for themselves.

I can't wait to beback home. And to meet the one my heart longs for.

September 2, 2009

This is Wednesday, just under 10 minutes before midnight. It has been a hectic day, just like Monday and Tuesday.

The difference is that I was on the road today. We travelled from Berlin to Bonn for some eight hours, including two 30 minute stops because by law a driver of any big car in Germany, must rest after three hours.

Straight in Bonn, there was no time to rest. We went into a visit of DW Radio. It is housed in a beautiful building adjacent to the UN office here.

Now I am in Koeln, some 20 kilometres from Bonn. I had 10 minutes between programmes. Tired, I opened my mailbox. And my love had written under the subject "Time for Prayer". This is an e-mail in which we share prayer items for everyday when we are away from each other.

She had bad news. Her cousin, Jennifer, has passed on in the UK. I should rather say our cousin because her relations are my relations first.

I called her up just before we left for dinner at the invitation of DW Academy (Africa Section). I called her up again after the dinner at about 10 pm. We had a wonderful chat of about 15 minutes. I told her that death is a coward. It takes those we love, thinking we shall not live without them.

But the weakness of death is that it teaches us to live without, to live without those we love. Death teaches us to love more, to take the place of those gone. This is my duty: to love my love the way her cousin would have loved her. It is my duty to fill the spaces left by those she grew up to see, especially because the cousin was my age.

I mourn with my love. Yet I admire my love's faith in the Lord. She told me the bad news in a rather familiar e-mail subject (Time for Prayer). She brought the strange through the familiar. She announced a thing that weakens our faith through an e-mail subject that strengthens our (my love and I) faith.

Such is joy brought by a wonderful lady into a man's life.