After an amazing trip home to Canada to celebrate the beautiful marriage of one of my best friends and the dedication of my Best Friend’s new baby, I am back to Mali and trying to get in the swing of things.
I always get a case of the post-vacation blues. The week after I spend gallivanting in a new country or replenishing in the comforts of friends or family is hard. I miss the freedom, the safety of my closest relationships, I miss the foods, and excitements, the naps, and the experiences. After this vacation I miss my family, the new acquaintances, the old friends, my cat, my mom (she deserves a special shout out). In my bluest moments I can’t help but wonder why do I choose to work so far away from people and experiences that mean so much.
Living in Mali can make you feel like an alien sometimes. The language is different, the food is different, the culture is different, the landscape is different, and the ways of life are different. It’s the moments when I feel un-centered and disconnected that I feel the most alien – moments like this week.
Yet all of those same things that make me feel alien are the exact things that keep me coming back for more. Learning more about the way of life, the food, the language, the landscape – it keeps me challenged and interested. It can be like the best natural high – spending all day puzzling over the many aspects of life that are unfamiliar.
So while I wait for these moments of sadness to pass, I flip the coin of pros and cons over and over. I look at all the benefits of the life I have created here and enter happily into the life I live with a suitcase heart filled with the people and experiences I love no matter where I am, or how far away they are.