Home Is Where The Heart Is

I arrived home today for my mid semester vacation at around 2 15 pm. As I disembarked the plane, the sun shone brightly, sending rays of warmth that are unusual for this time of the year. It’s like the sun was smiling down at me, copying the expression on my face. As I wheeled my small green suitcase behind me, I could feel my excitement growing.

I would love to say I was met by my parents, brother, and sister, all grinning and waving as I came through the arrivals lounge but that is not the case. They have lives. My sister is going through what I just finished. Her end of semester exams are in full force right now and my arrival is more like a gift from heaven for her (less dishes for her to wash). My little brother on the other hand is occupied with primary school related activities – think rugby games and music lessons. I was picked up by my slightly late dad and that was more than enough for me 🙂

The hour long ride home from the airport was not fun though. Talking about my future is always something that I don’t welcome. Maybe it’s because I have no idea what path I want to take with my life after University. Right now my focus is on one thing: get this degree. However, that is proving to be quite a mission. I really need to dig down even deeper and find motivation to finish what I started. On the bright side, I’m learning an extremely valuable life lesson at UCT – how to get back up when life knocks me down. It’s been a rough 2 years and I’ve got two more to go and I really want to see this thing to the end.

So, after having a surprisingly soul bearing and completely honest conversation with my father, we pulled up in front of the gate. Then, my dad pulls out his gate keys, hands them to me and says “Well, you’re home now so you better start acting like it”. Translation, go open the gate. Some things never change 😀

I had actually never opened the gate before. New house, new discoveries 🙂
As I wrestled my luggage out the car, with the help of my dad, my sister walked out the house, knife in hand exclaiming, “fair warning, we’re not making you anything special for dinner!”. Just like that, the playful teasing and light banter began. I swear, my family is amazing at small talk! We can go for hours talking about the most random things, laughing and joking together. It’s quite beautiful.

Once I stepped into the house, it was mayhem! I barely had time to walk into my bedroom when my brother hugged/tackled me onto the bed. What a greeting! 😀 He plays rugby and I have a feeling there’s more of those to come during my time home.

As the noise escalated and the hugs went around multiple times, I found myself taking off my shoes and settling down for an update on the latest news and gossip from extended family and friends. My mom gabbed away as she rolled chapati expertly while my sister sat on the kitchen counter periodically contributing to the stories. My brother went off to play some sort of computer game like any normal 11 year old. Once in a while he’d walk in to excitedly show me something – like how he had grown about 4 cm in 1 month and how he could make music with water and a wine glass. Then he would disappear again.

As I sat there, joking, laughing and mercilessly teasing my sister, I felt my troubles seep away. The tension of exams, the worries of assignments, projects and GPA were momentarily forgotten. In that moment, I was content. My heart sang and my eyes danced with laughter. In that moment I was happy 🙂

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I love my family 🙂 I really do. They are not perfect and at times I really wish certain things were different. However, I undoubtedly and unequivocally love these people. And, it’s in these little moments, those spent sitting on kitchen counter tops or lounging on the bed that I remember that.

Till next time,

Linet

This is how much I love my family, especially my little brother :)

This is how much I love my family, especially my little brother 🙂

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Thinking about home…

Our flag flying high

Living away from my country of birth, Kenya has  not been nearly as hard as I thought it would be. When I say ‘as i thought it would be’, I am referring to my 8-yr old self, wondering whether I’ll fit in and find new friends. Back then I was terrified; you know that nervous feeling you get when you have to move to a new neighbourhood, or maybe even a new town…now imagine moving to a new country.

Well things turned out fine. I made friends, I went to my new school and I liked it. I basically moved on with life. Its been what, 9 years now…It has generally been smooth sailing and I have no complaints. But there have been times when I thought back and I wondered what would have happened if I had stayed home. I miss Kenya horribly at times. These times are when I remember all my old friends, or when I look at the old family albums and seem my all relatives i.e cousins, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunties etc and think of how much I’ve missed out of their life.

On the other hand, as we have lived in Botswana my family and I have adhered to our Kenyan values. We have stuck to our traditions and morals. These include: possessing a stong sense of family and community; the demand for respect for elders, especially those who are significantly older than you; calling any grown up I know as Aunty or Uncle; and I speaking my mother tongue, Kimeru and Swahili. In my opinion,  I am Kenyan in every right.

Yet sometimes, I feel like there’s so much I’ve missed out on. Things like: going to boarding school, which is an automatic thing for any pupil or student in Kenya as a large majority of the schools are boarding school; having relatives visit almost every weekend because they just needed to see us (who by the way always seem to want something else other than just seeing us); or making weekly trips to the local market to buy an assortment of fruits and vegetables. All these things are part of the daily Kenyan life that I would have had if we had stayed home.

I guess its okay. Botswana is an amazing country and of course I have been presented with amazing opportunities that I may never have gotten in Kenya. These things happen and are just a part of life. There’s not much I can do right?

So, I guess now my nostalgic state of mind has passed, I’ll leave you to it 😀  Till next time!

 

Say it loud!