Homemade Bread and Ocean Tides

11 December 2007 Comments

I am in Tanzania on my last vacation before the end of my mission. I suppose it may seem like I am on vacation all the time, since I have written a lot about my vacations on this blog…or at least I have written a lot during my vacations.

And I guess that might be because there seem to be more moments during my vacation time where I actually have the energy and wherewithal to think…to reflect… to ponder… to sit in front of a computer and write something down which I feel is worthy of sharing… Something I have had little time for these days in my project…

I am nearing the end of my mission in DRC. At the end of January I will leave my project, here in Kilwa and go back to Canada. Most MSF first missions are nine months. I think there might be a good reason for that. I know that I am tired. Nine months is the time it takes to grow a human being. Nine months is a lifetime away from everyone and everything you know, from all that is familiar. I have been here for nearly 10 months now. I know that I am all kinds of tired. I know that I am looking forward to time away from here to think, to reflect, and to ponder, because I will not be able to absorb my time in Congo until I have left.

I know I am speaking about it like I have already left, but there will be six weeks left when I get back to Kilwa from here, and it will fly by. I have so much to do before I go.

Here in Tanzania I am contemplating the Ocean tide and homemade bread. I am wondering if people who were born beside the Ocean have the same feeling of awe and wonder when they look out at these waters. How is it possible that an entire Ocean just rolls away every morning and comes back home every night…? For a moment I wish I could roll away with the tide, wherever it is going, just out of curiosity… but I would only want to go if I knew it would bring me back home again.

In the place where I am staying they serve homemade bread in the morning with your coffee. It is almost the exact same recipe that my grandmother has made her whole life (the length of which I cannot disclose since I learned long ago that it is impolite to share a lady’s age). I wonder how a man in a village in Tanzania has my grandmother’s bread recipe… What an unlikely yet wonderful piece of home on the other side of the world. I wonder what small piece of my home in Kilwa I will suddenly discover when I get back to Canada… I hope it fills me with the same kind of comfort and reassurance that everything is as it should be. I wonder if my team is winning the battle against cholera…