By: Mzati Nkolokosa
Germany Travelogue, Sunday, 6 September, 2009
So, here I am. Sunday, September 6, 2009. Still counting down; no, counting days now. I am looking forward to the day I shall fly out of Germany.
No. I think the day I shall fly out of Germany is looking (staring is the right word, I think) at me. And it feels bad, you know. Here I am. I have been longing for this day, haven’t I? I was here bothering you that I was missing home. Now it scares me to think of leaving Germany, a place that has been my home away from home for the past three weeks and this week, making it four weeks.
What is this we fear in things we leave behind? When I was flying out of Malawi, I was sad to leave my country behind me. And you know what Malawi means: the people, the smiles, the hills, the markets, and everything else but first my family, people that matter most to me.
Now I don’t know what is it that should make me feel sorry to leave Germany. I guess it is human nature to feel sorry on parting with anything. Parting, as I am realising, can be a moment of two faces: one of happiness, another of sadness.
It is just human nature. Happiness because, in my case, I am going back home to see my country, my people, my life; sadness because, in my case too, I am leaving what was becoming part of me: the bed I have slept on for 19 days here in Berlin and eight days in other cities, the corridors I have walked, the chair that I sat on when working on my laptop, the meals that I have had, the new friends I have made and, especially, friends from church who hugged me yesterday.
We spoke different languages but we got our comfort from serving one God, a God who understands all our languages, a God who has endowed us with wisdom to survive in this world.
And then the thought comes: As I am missing home, are people also missing me? Am I a source of happiness in my house? Or those who live with me are happy that I am away? Am I a good manager at work? Or colleagues in my department are happy that their head is away? Are they looking forward to the day I shall be back in the office?
It is hard to imagine the sorrow that we carry from things we leave behind. Yet some places cause less sorrow than others. I will feel sorry from leaving Germany, just for a moment. But the joy of going home is far greater than the sorry feeling of leaving Germany.
So I choose home. I choose Malawi, my home, my country. But I shall remember Germany forever. Or put it this way, I am leaving Germany, yes, but Germany shall live in me, forever.