canned hotdogs = christmas time.

So my mom emailed me the other day that there is snow on the ground in Toronto. Something hard to believe when I spend my days here running about in a sundress and flip flops, trying my hardest not to get a sunburn, this close to the equator. If it wasn't for the fake christmas trees on sale downtown, between leftover halloween masks and canned hotdogs, I would have difficulty believing it at all.

I only have a week and a 1/2 left in rwanda. Christmas will be in kenya. New years in amsterdam. And if how quickly the past three months have gone is any indication, this will be over before i know it. I feel as though it was only last week i stepped through the metal detectors at pearson, as my dad attempted to take photos and was stopped by airport security. It is hard to know where the past few months have gone. Yet in the same vein, it feels like yesterday that i was sitting on the wooden steps down to a frozen dock, ringing in the new year all alone. The lake an expanse of slate and quiet. I had escaped just after sunrise, tiptoeing between my sleeping comrades to make the drive between haliburton and severn bridge. The first morning of 2007 spent speeding down abandoned highways in northern ontario. the radio up and the windows down despite the cold. Where has the past year gone.

I am conflicted on leaving. at the moment kigali is making me feel unbelievably clausterphobic. part of me thinks that this is yet another round of feeling overwhelmed here. Of surveying the work i have done, but having difficulty seeing its affect to the larger picture of this country. Of witnessing the intense poverty here, and wondering if there really is a solution to such a complex sitation. and so i want to run, because i do not know how to process all of this. Four months, and i still cannot. Although i am of the mind that if i were to spend four years here, and i would still have no better grasp on things than i do at the moment. I cannot quite explain it.

On the other hand, perhaps this merely a defense mechanism kicking in. That I intentionally make myself dissatisfied with a place, because i know in reality it is going to be excrtiating to leave. This way, by feeling closed in upon, leaving will feel like a realease. And then when the time comes to go, it will be positive instead of negative.

I think this is all combined with the fact that part of me resents that kathryn is going home. And yet at the same time i don't. Part of me knows that once the novelty of seeing everyonehas worn off, i would wish i was still far far away. I suppose the uncertainty of the next few months is getting to me . And yet i love the uncertain. Perhaps that is the real problem. That life in kigali has become perdictable. even the unexpected ridiculous events, are to be expected. I am ready for a change.

And then i remind myself, when i am jealous of kathryn's soon to be triumphant return to canada, that toronto is not that change that is nee. At this point it is still reverting.

I suppose it is simply a strange time of year to be away from home. And despite my nerosis, it is going to be hard to leave Africa. I am not used to saying permanent good-byes.



Anonymous said...

I have really enjoyed reading your blog. I totally understand where you are in trying to figure out what is going on in a culture that is vastly different from one in which you grew up in.

I'm glad that you and Kathryn were able to have this experience together and be able to talk about what you have seen. Although, I'm sure that you have both been impacted by different things.

It'll be interesting having christmas in Africa with no snow. The closest place you'll find snow is probably the top of Mount Kilamanjaro? in Tanzania.

In any case enjoy your last few weeks in the beautiful continent of Africa and say hi to Kathryn for me.


NewVillain said...
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rosalie said...

it's true, the time has passed by so quickly i'm not even quite sure where it went (however, that doesn't change the fact that i have missed you terribly).

i hope your christmas is wonderful and no doubt it will be one you will never forget. i am still trying to figure out some way to be able to meet up with you in the new year as i too am feeling the novelty of toronto wear off...


anyway, it doesn't matter where i see you next as i'm sure we'll have a blast wherever, darling! i have so much love for you

take care