I’ve been on this expat journey years longer than a decade now. From one country to another, we move and settle only to uproot once again. In wanting some form of stability for our children we bought a house to come and go from so the little ones could slowly begin to root. Little did we know how quickly they would grow and how tangled we would become.
I’ve never lived so completely in two worlds. Upon first light, just as my eyes begin to open for the day I am on my island, tall trees framing the window, silence so deep it has weight. But as the light comes in and I become more fully awake I am in a tropical paradise, Ibis calling in the garden, monkeys running on the roof. It moves me, this Kenyan beauty, while still holding the beauty and ache of home.
Sometimes I just want to stop and get off. Go home and dig deeper, root farther. This week I have been feeling that very strongly, the pull to go back. And then, I stood on my porch yesterday speaking to the 60 year old Ugandan woman who works for us. She fled Uganda during the Amin years to find safety in Nairobi. She’s told me of war and loss and wears her tragedies deeply etched upon her skin. Listening to her made me remember why we chose this path, to hear these stories, to see the world, how other people live, and be changed by it.
Every person I have met, and all their stories I hold, have shaped who I’ve become.