My First Day Back…

Just a quickie…my first day back…I rode down my beautiful street, to my beautiful 4-bedroom house, 2-car garage, in my beautiful neighborhood, had instant electricity and turned on my lights as I breathed in the fresh, snow-filled air, and tried to adjust my body clock to get some rest. Oh, before I went to bed, I used the rest room in a private bathroom, used lots of toilet paper because it was there, and flushed the toilet in a matter of seconds. I turned the television on and began to settle down…slowly, trying to rest my mind, body and soul so that I could finally sleep. First on the sofa…then the bed…by myself….wow…I’ve been up for almost 48 hours…

Next day, woke up to the sounds of silence, noticed a bump on my leg that itched, scratched it and went on with my life. Thought about what I wanted to eat for breakfast, I had many choices and then realized it was just a little past 1 am. My body had not adjusted yet…There were no sounds in the streets, no pollution, no vendors…no noise in the house….just me…and thought…wow…this is the life…this is what I left AND came back to….sighed…smiled….paused…thought…thought again….and thought……and thought again and…..thought….

Wow…no roosters in the morning to wake me up. No early morning taxi calls because I had my own car, 2 as a matter of fact so I could go where I want, whenever I want , with whomever I want, but….no smells from the generators or their rumbling sounds…no worries of malaria….just me and my house and thoughts of what I wanted to do before heading back to work…but….I missed Mary, Kadia, Christian and Sylvia and Ishmil riding with me…and the list goes on and on and on of everyone that I miss….

No one prepared my hot water to bathe in, no one made my bed, no one had breakfast waiting for me, no sounds of children playing…water being poured in the huge barrels for flushing purposes for everyone…vendors calling out for customers who will help them “live” and “eat” today…let alone, their families…

No calls from Islam calling followers to pray…no Christian prayers and calls to begin their morning that I hear being chanted in the background…no beautiful sunrise over the ocean…I even miss waiting for Mary to wake up so that OUR day could get started. I miss the upbeat music playing in the night…ALL night…and in the morning except for Sundays…

I miss walking out of my bedroom and seeing the sleepy, smiling faces of children…”good morning” “good morning” I would reply…”thank you mam…and that first smile that greeted EVERY morning…I miss walking out into the courtyard, into the street, and meeting and greeting people, the same people that I would see every morning and greeted every morning…enjoying pleasant exchanges even though I didn’t know their names…I remembered their smiles, their feet, the goods that they were hoping to sell on top of their heads….I remember them…

And being here, remembering them, I remember me…myself…once in a strange place that now seems a bit like home and home seems a bit odd….but it’s only been day one…well, one and a half now…and slowly, I find myself getting into the old and not so good habits…snacking because I can (at least it was fruit), staying inside because I can (what about vitamin D), thinking of working on my syllabus and documentary all while I’m still tired…in all ways…yes…this is home…this is my life…my life that has been made better because of a visit abroad…

I will eat more vegetables, fish, sushi, better and healthier foods….and cherish and appreciate ALL that I have…money, health, working toilets, showers, baths ( I took  a LOOOOng one when I got home),  electricity, gas stove, cars, the quiet and the beautiful home that is gradually beginning to feel like home again and the beautiful friends that I have here…right here in the United States of America. AND, I will remember my new friends and the beautiful homes full of love and sharing and simple laughters and places and streets that I visited full of life and vigor in Sierra leone…I am an American, an African American, a Black American woman and it FEELS GREAT!!!! Yes!!!! I am happy and proud to be ME and I’m happy to have been part of the global village/community in ways that I have NEVER experienced before and I can tell you this….I can tell you that I am looking forward to playing a special part in bringing “worlds,” cultures, and people together in beautiful and perfect harmony…some way…many ways….at this time, my hope is a dream that merely represents a reality that has yet to happen….I hope you have enjoyed sharing this journey with me through my blogs and Facebook and now, I will be preparing my footage and scripts for reviewing so that I can bring you a beautiful documentary, full of sounds, “video” and still pictures, for you to enjoy and learn from….one more day of rest and then…the work continues….

So here’s a coke, and a smile and a toast… to dreams coming true…

May you have perfect dreams and the courage and craziness to take that first step to make them realities….Cheers!

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