This is actually being posted after I am home. I wrote it while in the Gam, but I didn't have the heart to admit to the World Wide Web that I was leaving. So here it is, after about a week of electricity and family time, with some tears on the side.
There are few things worse than goodbyes. They encompass a spectrum from saying goodbye to someone on their deathbed to a goodbye until tomorrow or even a few hours. Goodbyes occur between friends and enemies alike; one says “see you later” and the other “see you never” with some variations in between.
A particular pet peeve of mine is the repeat-offender. With two weeks left this has already occurred. The awful, “O you are leaving so soon! I may not see you (explanation inserted here: I’m going upcountry, I have a wedding to attend, classes are over now, etc.). “Then of course the next day you are invited over to a friend’s house for lunch, and the very person who you bid farewell too for fear you would never meet again is actually that person’s cousin and just stopped in for a visit. Let the series of goodbyes occur again. Repeat, Repeat, Repeat.
After not being at the beach for over a month (GASP) because I was doing work (GASP AGAIN) I looked forward to a week or two of leisure time. Time with Club Toubob, shopping, stocking up on my Vitamin D via sunlight, eating mangos in mass quantities, taking pictures and some alternate activities in between, but little did I know that Goodbye-ing is a sport, which includes lots of time and energy (very little of which appears to be spent at the beach).
Goodbye-ing involves hanging out with friends that I might not see for a very long time, and buying stuff for those I will see soon. Goodbye-ish involves last bits of “culture” that I may not have absorbed yet (like going to a massive circumcision party). It involves getting clothes made from the awesome African fabrics I have collected, while giving away my America clothes so there is enough room in my suitcase.
Two weeks of:
A. Domada –Rice dish with peanut sauce
B. Salamallekum- Peace Be With you (Used as Hello)
C. Nescafe- gross, but effective, instant coffee. The only kind of coffee available
D. EnShallah- If God Wills It.
E. Gully-Gullies –public transport at its best, after hitchhiking
F. Being the only white person for miles
G. Doing, learning, or meeting someone new everyday
H. Ndanka Ndanka- It will be done when it is done
I. Beach PLEASE!
Two Weeks till:
A.Mac and Cheese
D. Not being deemed a lesser human for being a woman (ish)
G. Malaria or parasites are not a concern
I. My family and friends