The Road Home Keeps Getting Longer

I’ve come to the realisation that my homesickness has two peaks a year, November and May. In November, it’s when the weather turns cold and I start dreaming of warm, rain days in Hatfield. Thanksgiving and Christmas will be approaching, and family oriented holidays always make me think about how scattered my family is.

In May, I think the trigger is the end of the semester, the end of another school year and starting to chart the path for the next year. That path never seems to lead to Zimbabwe. Each year, the road back home gets longer, the bends increase and it gets harder to imagine myself living in Zimbabwe again. This time last year, I was thinking about how going back is not the same as staying. Now I’m wondering if going back is really an option.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’m going to do when I graduate, where I’m going to go. The thing is, Zimbabwe never features in my near future plans. Sure I think, “If I were in South Africa, I would be close to home”, but I never consider settling in Zimbabwe now as a serious option. In the back of my head, I hear 19-year-old me screaming “Sell-out” because what she came to America for was to get an education that would help her help people back in Zimbabwe. A part of me wants to go home, but I have no answer to the question, “Go home and do what?”

The only conclusion I can come to now is that it’s complicated. In the meantime, here is one of my favourite tracks for when I’m feeling homesick. It always makes me think of the days when I’d be sitting in my dad’s car and he’d be belting out Leonard Dembo tracks. I hated the music then, but now it makes me feel a little closer to home.

Iyi nhamo yedu iyi tiri vaviri, tikashinga tichakunda, ini neZimbabwe.

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