Life does not follow a narrative arc. But sometimes it certainly feels like it does. I am currently living such times.
Remember when I posted all my negativity about the inevitability of everything falling apart? Well, things have fallen apart in a manner of speaking, at least for me. (Don’t worry. I’m fine, if adjusting to culture shock.)
I’m in Cape Town. South Africa. I arrived yesterday. Two months ahead of schedule. With 48 hours’ warning.
It happened like this.
Saturday (8/15) Lonnie and I discussed leaving in the first week of September. We talked about plans for renewing my visa on Tuesday. I started making school plans.
That night, Fran got sick. I didn’t know.
Sunday morning (8/16) I woke up early. I made bread. I baked beans. I thought about the schedule for the next week.
Lonnie got up late and gave me the news: Fran was sick and they were going back to South Africa, as the Zambian medical system is not trustworthy. I had to leave Zambia.
As my visa expired on Tuesday, I had to leave on Tuesday. (No point renewing the visa for only a couple more days.) The electricity was out in the afternoon, and internet the rest of the day. I read a lot, killed time.
Monday (8/17) I woke up early. Fran was doing much better, but the Turners still wanted to return to South Africa. We left for the airport around 1000 hours. I booked a flight to South Africa for the next day. I holed up in a coffee shop (with the worst cream donut I have ever had the misfortune to eat) to get internet for an hour.
Tuesday (8/18) I left. And ended up here.
I’m safely ensconced in a hostel, where I’ll be staying for a few days to figure things out, get my feet under me. Suffered a few minor snafus traveling, but no lasting harm.
As much as shock at finding myself somewhere new and unexpected, I find myself shocked at my sudden expulsion, albeit partially self-imposed expulsion, from the place where I was finally starting to feel comfortable. I find myself lacking a purpose, someplace to be, when I have come to depend on such a feeling in the last few weeks. Perhaps most of all, I miss Zambia. I find myself homesick for a place that is not really my home.
Not that there’s anything wrong with just traveling for a while, at least while I sort things out. I just wasn’t expecting it. I guess what I’m saying is that change makes me deeply uncomfortable when I’m not expecting it.
With that musing, I leave you. May you all be safe and have no undesirable surprises in your lives.