The last few days I've had a several songs that have been a mental soundtrack to my life. "Leaving on a jet plane" "Last dance" "And now you're gone, gone gone". The music world abounds with songs about leave takings. Saying goodbye to someone you love. Saying goodbye to something you love. Saying goodbye to a finished chapter in your life.
I'm not good at goodbyes. And I hate extended goodbyes. That was hard in Samoa. It was like pulling off a band-aid, one millimeter at a time. It was slow and painful.
Leaving Malawi is easier. I've been here three months, not 26 months. I like the friends I've made here and hope to stay in touch, but I haven't had time to learn to love them and for them to have become woven into my life.
And leaving is coming so quickly. I'm pooped because of the level of work and activities the last few weeks and am ready for a vacation, but it's also been a good distraction. I suspect it won't really hit me until I'm cooling my heels in the Lilongwe airport, waiting to take the bus out to the plane.
There was a moment last Saturday, when I said goodbye to Paul's family. Luckily, his kids didn't really understand that it was the last time we'll probably be together. To them, it was just "see you later" as they hugged and kissed me.
I should be packing right now. I hate packing. It's not really that hard nor that time consuming, but I build it to epic proportions in my head. I've actually already done the tough part of packing - in my head. My big suitcase will carry souvenirs, gifts and the clothes I brought and never wore (it does NOT get cold enough in Malawi for winter clothes). One roll aboard bag will hold the clothes/gifts for my visit to Armenia.
The other roll aboard will carry my computer, a change of clothes, toiletries/drugs and my airplane necessities. They include a small down throw which was a Christmas gift years ago (thank you, G &V!) and is great on chilly planes. Mr. Kindle, of course, to keep me amused with reading and games during layovers. Noise cancelling head phones which make a HUGE difference. After going through two sets of Bose (expensive) head phones, I found a pair for this trip which were $79 and very close to Bose performance. They're made by AblePlanet. I'll also have my sleep mask, hand lotion and saline nasal spray. Yes, I've got this flying thing down to a science.
I don't want to leave Malawi. I really like it here. But I'm ready to be home for a bit, spend time with friends and make some money.
If you know of a job for a "young at heart" woman with consulting, teaching and volunteer experience, keep me in mind. Currently I'm eyeing an open position for assistant manager at the Taco Bell in Lake Mary. Close to home, not the head honcho and I'm guessing I'd get all the free tacos I could eat. Could be a dream job.