So – it’s been a while and I’d apologize about that, but I would be lying if I said that I felt bad. I think spending time with actual people rather than my laptop is a good thing, but you’re free to disagree with me. I’ve been here (here being Waterford Kamhlaba, Swaziland) for just over two weeks now. It’s been great, I mean really great. There’s also been some pretty crappy nights. But it would be weird if every-thing was perfect. Usually people ask me how has the weathers’ been and so on, so I’ll just get that over and done with now:
a) Yes it’s Africa. No it’s not always hot. It’s been pretty flipping cold some days – for example to-day. I am currently wearing 3 layers. But I guess my perception of ‘cold’ has altered slightly.
b) Yes homesickness sucks. But it’s around 1/15 days when I miss home. This feeling comes after the randomest things that remind me slightly of how different it is here. Be sure to have an emergency tea bag and you’re favourite biscuits at hand if ever this happens.
c) I’ve learnt to be selfish. Sleep is important, and sometimes I need to miss out on one chat for an extra hour of sleep. Believe me it’s worth it – and I’m talking IB1 Term 1, so let’s see how the rest of the year goes.
d) It can be overwhelming – sometimes the people around you are so happy, and if you’re having a bit of a bad day, it makes you sad because you don’t always feel the same. At least that happens to me, which makes me sound like the meanest person ever, but it’s hard to explain.
e) I’ve come to appreciate my own company. Be it the walk up to breakfast in the morning, or a qui-et hour in my bed overthinking the slightest thing. To have just your own voice in your head in-stead of another 10 opinions can be very refreshing.
I understand if you think that this post makes me sound like I’m not enjoying myself. I really am so here’s another 5 points that makes everything a little brighter:
f) Getting up in the morning without knowing how the weather will be when you open your curtain is fun. Without even getting out of bed, there’s an element of unpredictability added to your day.
g) Homesickness reminds me to appreciate everything that’s 6000 miles away. Missing the little things such as leaving cupcakes in the kitchen without finding a trail of ants infesting there by the morning (I speak from experience, unfortunately).
h) Being able to choose between midnight chats face to face rather than screen to screen, and sleeping for an extra couple hours might be the best decision I have to make every night.
i) Being overwhelmed is better than being underwhelmed. I am 90% less bored than I was at home. Seeing people genuinely enjoying themselves rather than moping around doing nothing is bloody great. Even if it does make you feel a bit sad, you know that those same people also pick you up when you’re down (thank you to everyone who have done exactly this).
j) I’ve started to like my own voice. Even if it’s high pitched and awkward, I’m not so scared any-more to hear my own opinions.
Of course work has now started, but for once I’m actually enjoying homework. And having a mountain as your back garden means that there’s always time for a hike and a picnic up the mountain. Obviously I’m still trying to get used to things here, such as the physical workout I do every night trying to climb up the stairs to my bunk bed. And also the many bruises I have accumulated trying to get down. But I guess I’ll miss these little things 2 years on, 6000 miles away in the other direction missing my other home, Water-ford.
It’s been two weeks. And I can’t tell you how happy I am that I will be here for the next 2 years. One rice filled day at the time.