When I first arrived I was too exhausted to really take anything in having not slept well, if at all, for the previous few days and during travel. Arrival at the aiport was almost just as I imagined, with my parents, brother and sister-in-law ready and waiting with open arms (and a warm coat!) I landed straight into the busyness of an Easter weekend, but sadly I think I was too tired to really appreciate that special time of year, though I’d been looking forward to it for so long. Now that I’ve rested and my energy levels are somewhat restored I am starting to take in my environment more and catch up with people.
Truth be told, the environment is the same, though I am much more aware of how neat and tidy England is, how ordered life is, how people keep to the rules of the road (so that driving proved to be a joy rather than a stress when I took my first trip out on my own) and how there are lots and lots of cars! There’s just tiny changes like more recycling, more people out on bikes and new property developments.
The familiarity of everything, the ease with which one can slip back into life here, makes the reality of being here like some strange time-warp. I know that my stay here is only temporary and I refer to Tanzania as ‘home’, and yet at the same time it’s as if the last two years never happened. Even relationships have been picked up remarkably easily (helped, I am sure, by how faithfully people have kept in touch in my absence). However, at the same time as living here, and going through the motions of normal life in England (even playing the piano at church again on Sunday, which was a real privelage) I feel strangely disconnected… I’m half here and half in Tanzania, living in two time-zones as I keep in touch with close friends that I miss there while interacting with friends and family here that I have missed for two years!
On the positive side, some of the things I am really enjoying (besides the obvious pleasure of being with my family and friends) are eating nice cheeses, yummy meals out, walking in the surrounding countryside, long twilights, a fast internet connection and breakfast cereal!
Out for a walk with family and friends on my birthday