I'm home now. Or something that resembles something that I used to call home in some other lifetime. Everything is very surreal. I have been home for five weeks. Five weeks.
I have spent a lot of time staring at my bedroom ceiling. A good friend told me that it's probably normal and to keep doing it as long as I feel like it, and that eventually I will want to get up and paint the ceiling.. that hasn't really happened yet.
But I went back to work anyway. I thought it would be better for me to be distracted, to focus on patients and families. I have worked five shifts now in a "developed world" hospital that never runs out of gloves or clean needles or medicine and there is always a doctor there when you need one. There is running water and electricity. Nobody has cholera or measles. It feels very strange. In all honesty I am not really sure what to do with myself.
I keep describing the experience of coming home to people by saying that it feels as if I have been abducted by aliens and dropped on another planet that is vaguely familiar. Vaguely.
People I barely know ask me some pretty personal questions without even realizing it. What was the hardest thing for me? How did it change me as a person? I'm not even sure I can answer any of that for myself. My family is upset because I am not talking about "it", but I don't know what to say. How do you explain an entire year of your life? How do you explain life in another universe?
I miss Kilwa. I miss Congo. I miss my friends, my family in a land far, far away. I am happy to be here, now, in Toronto, but I am just not sure I am home yet.