on homesickness

before i came to rwanda i talked to a lot of people about the emotional strain i would go through. vso warned me about massive mood swings, periods of depression followed by elation followed by frustration followed by joy and onward. because i was expecting this i may be over-analyising my own emotions (who me?). but i find that day-to-day i’m so occupied by work and students and projects and dealing with simple necessities like food and water and with small annoyances like the ones i write about so often, that i don’t really have time to feel homesick. so when i do, it sneaks up on me. it’s quick and brutal and then it’s gone. a song will do it (andres segovia had me monday evening, ghymes on tuesday), photos that pop up on my screensaver when i’m working (prague, budapest, the ocean, family, thanksgiving pies). it’s never more than a minute, never long enough to make me unhappy here, i never say i wish i weren’t here, only that i wish i were there.

interestingly enough, i miss europe more than home. can you be homesick for a place that isn’t home? i miss amsterdam, croatia, places i was in for only a few days. i miss hungary lots and when i get emails in hungarian (thanks kati!) i miss it even more.

but i’m far from down-spirited. read the previous entry and i’m glowing. things are going well here. i’m not feeling mood-swings exactly, just minute-long bouts of extreme longing for another time and place. weird. all you more mature, experienced folk out there- any suggestions?

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~ by aliciawolcott on June 1, 2007.

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