Sunday, January 16, 2011


At this very moment, I'm having hot tea with raspberry syrup. This can only mean one thing: I'm not in Africa anymore. This chapter of my life is slowly coming to its natural end. Clearly, so is this blog. But not just yet. I still have some things to tell, the last entries to write. I'm determined not to forget. You see, now I know - I have left a part of my soul in Africa. And, as it happens, a part of my heart in Arc En Ciel. So, one more time, please let me write about my boys.

It's easier to leave than to be left behind, people say. I desperately hope it's not true. I want the sadness to be all mine, so that the kids can only remember the good things. I want them to think about our trips to the beach, how we swam in the sea and how they kept diving to catch my legs, so that I would get indignant. I want them to remember the joy of opening the Christmas gifts, sitting on the sand in the shade of a huge badamier, wrapped in towels. Or how we made Christmas decorations. I prefer to believe that during the months (because they were only 4,5 months!) we spent together, they did not have enough time to get really attached. Because for me, giving up AEC was the hardest thing I had to do in Gabon. It's easier to leave than to be left behind... Is it really?

Only last Tuesday - although now it seems weeks away - the Arc En Ciel sisters organised a goodbye party for me. I provided drinks and biscuits, they took care of the entertainment bit. For the first time in my life, children sang and recited poems for me. I received a gift (a coconut bag), a copy of the poem and the most valuable present of all: a card where they all wrote their goodbyes. I hugged everybody several times and then... I left. They watched me go and they seemed sad. I was on the verge of crying. How do you leave someone for ever? I have yet to find an answer to this question.

I miss my boys. I want to keep seeing them. I want to help raise them. I want to discipline them. I want to teach them and play with them and put smiles on their faces. I want to know what's going to happen to them. And yes, I'm the one who's the most surprised by such a turn of events when it comes to my feelings.

Does this entry seem sad to you? Well, it shouldn't, really. I'm beyond happy to have met the Arc En Ciel lot. If you're still in Gabon, why don't you go and sign up as a volunteer? On my part, no regrets. Well, maybe one: that I hadn't started earlier.

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