This morning Maman Marie called me to say goodbye. I left Kilwa a little over three weeks ago, but today I am leaving DRC. She told me all the news of cholera and measles and other bits and pieces of Kilwa life...all the bits and pieces that have been my life for the last year. On Tuesday afternoon I will walk out of the Toronto airport and I am told I will find three feet of good Canadian snow to greet me. It's more than thirty degrees here. I hope my mother is bringing my winter boots to the airport with her.
In a few weeks I will be back at work in a Canadian hospital, and I can honestly say it scares me. All the monitors and computer charts and sterile procedures are a world away from an oil lamp and an MSF handbook in the middle of nowhere. BUt I think, what scares me more is that all of this, everything that has been my life for the last year will just slip away into some distant collection of memories, almost like it never happened.
A friend told me yesterday that people who come to Congo once, always come back. I hope it's true. I hope it is true because there is a part of me that cannot leave this place behind, and I would like to come back and find it some day, this part of myself, that cannot bear to leave this place, these people that I've grown to love, that have been my family, my friends, my life for the last year.