Goodbyes make me feel old. Yet, as expected, whenever I feel something in Africa something else happens to directly contradict what I’m feeling. This time it was the rain. When I say rain I don’t mean light rain fall on a cloudy day afternoon. I mean serious fence breaking, window shaking rain. The good thing about rain is that I know I am not older than rain. It’s been falling for years and after I go it will keep on falling.
I will depart Liberia on April 4, 2008.
I’ll leave a different person than who I was when I arrived.
Even the way I sign my named has changed.
I’ll leave with a suitcase full of country cloth, calabashes and a pair of worn out jeans.
Mercy and Morris and Dama will stay.
The change is fluid yet vague.
I am confident I will miss my hammock.
I will carry with me my found soothing stones and know they will work when called upon.
I will arrive back home feeling known and unknown by the people I left.
They knew me before; they know me well.
There is one individual here who knows me better than I know myself.
Sometimes I’m not sure I know myself at all.
I will ache for this place and I won’t be able to explain it, so I will be quiet.
Really, there isn’t much to say.
Gwen is a psychologist who tries to write.
Gwen fell in love with a place and its people.
It was her life for 12 months and 11 days.