Monday, November 23, 2009


More often than not our conversations focus on a subject which fills me with, well yes, excitement, but also a great deal of anxiety: our future. And I do not mean our future as a couple in the sense of babies and such, I mean our post-Gabon life.

Until recently I was mainly preoccupied with my moving here, starting to work, getting used to African life... I didn't think about the next stage, the present was too big and overwhelming. On the other hand, it was rather clear to us that at the end of 2010 we would get back to Europe or at least leave Gabon - we don't see ourselves as the Kapuscinskis of Libreville, who decide to devote their lives to the exploration of the Black Continent. Ok then. Leave Africa. And do what?

I feel I want to study. I want to be at university again and re-discover the excitement of a new pen and a fresh notebook. You see, I've always been a bit nerdy that way and I used to immensely enjoy the academic life. Used to, before Spain, before the thesis breakdown, before the university became a burden. I'm ready to get back now and give it another try. I'm consdering cultural management and recycling myself professionally - I think I've done enough teaching.

For Jandro it's also quite complicated. What can you do after working for the EU in Africa? Entering the EU structures is anything but simple and for him, for technical reasons, it proves to be impossible within the next two years. As far as his plans and ideas are concerned, I don't feel entitled to discuss them. I will only say that finding his professional way in a post-Gabon world might be a tad difficult.

To sum up, we're trying to go step by step. First: choose a country. Galicia is not an option: there is no work and the universities are mediocre. Poland? We'd like to spend some time there but not just yet: I think it's easier to study abroad and find work in Poland than the other way round. At the moment we are considering Madrid (big city, work options for Jandro and a renowned MA in cultural management) or Brussels (that means studying in French for me but I'm boldly hoping I'll be fit for it by the end of next year).

Our future remains in the shape of a question mark, then. It's been this way for me for over two years now, ever since I left Poland. At first it used to scare me a lot - if there is no perspective of another academic year, what do I do? Then I thought it was a passing stage and things would get sorted out at some point, the anxiety would go away. Now I realise that it is nothing unusual. The insecurity and uncertainty are part of something extremely natural, upon which we all stumble in the end. The inevitable transformation of caterpillar into butterfly - adulthood.


  1. Awww you're a cute butterfly already! And I can wholly relate to your dilemma, it's been haunting me ever since I graduated. How the hell do I survive a year without the University to shape my world... It turned out to be a scary sort of freedom for me. Now I got a job at the theatre but I think I decided to 'grow up' a tad too soon, I'll definately go back to studying properly as soon as I finish my post-grad course (for which I have to pay, hence the necessity of a steady job:P)

  2. Studying in Belgium does not mean you have to do it in French. I suppose you're not enthusiastic about learning Dutch, but there are tons of English programmes here too (e.g. all of my teaching this term is in English, since I teach students in the English MA of Philosophy and in the international MPhil programme).
    This is the overview of the English MA's in Leuven (which means you can live in Brussels if you want; the commute is 20 minutes):; with most 'Cultural' Ma's under the headings of Social Sciences or Arts.
    It would be great if you guys would choose Brussels! (But it would equally be great to have a place to stay in Madrid).

  3. Demmy, of course I'm enthusiastic about learning Dutch! If we end up in Belgium I'll definitely give it a go... I just hope that by then my French will be more than basic. Thanks for the info! :)

  4. No, no, no, she cannot start with Dutch because then in three months it will be better than mine and I will have to commit a harakiri. But you're welcome to take advantage of all the French and English-speaking opportunities of Belgium ;-).

    I will write a longer e-mail soon :-).