Friday, January 17, 2014

Do's and Don't's of Visiting Your Long-Lost... Parents?

A POST!?!?! Yes, I am going to continue to make blog posts for this year in Swaziland. Tell yo' friends.


So, I have spent the last seven weeks here in 'Murica for my first visit home in a year. While it has been wonderful, let me make a list of do's and don't's for someone coming back to visit their parents after a very, very long time away from home.

DO gently remind your mother that you have been living away from home for a year, and that you do indeed know how to dress yourself, and do not need to be reminded of how cold it is outside.

DON'T proceed to wear flip-flops, and then complain about how cold it is. Because there will be no pity.

DO enjoy some America foods.

DON'T enjoy so many America foods that while packing to return to Africa, you find that some of your Africa pants don't fit anymore.

DO have faith that the Africa pants will fit in a few weeks, once you are separated from these America foods. Specifically bagels.

DON'T pretend that just because you're "visiting," you don't have to do dishes.

DO continue to pick up your socks. Or start to pick up your socks, if this wasn't previous a habit.

DON'T forget to clean the toilet. While there might be someone at school who cleans toilets for you, your mother STILL isn't the maid. And if you don't clean it, it will become disgusting.

DO see all your friends in America.

DON'T worry when things are awkward at times. You've been apart for a year. It's going to be a teeny bit weird. Or a massive amount weird. But, that's okay.

DO enjoy it. Especially if you only have a few weeks before you leave again, time tends to fly.

So, I'm currently on a plane (the magic of delayed posting), heading back for a second year in Swaziland. I had kind of forgotten what is was like the first time around, but a few of the new students have started their own blogs, and I'm starting to realize how different it is to do all of this the second time around. Before, I didn't know what to pack. Now, I know to pack a rain jacket, because even if it's sunny during the day, it's damp at night. I know that despite the fact that the bus from Johannesburg to Mbabane is rumored to be able to make the trip in five hours, it never takes less than eight.

I know how big (or small) my room is. I know that some of stuff is in my friend's room, so that they could repaint my room over the holidays. I know that the cafeteria milk is half water. I know that the lettuce gets gross near the end of term. I know that I can hitch-hike into town and be safe. I know that you don't pronounce Mbabane as "EM-ba-bayn" (although that's still adorable, Mom and Dad).

I know what colors the mural in my corridor are, because I spent a hundred hours painting it. I know that the yellow fruits on the trees outside the laundry room are delicious. I know that my friend from Malawi will share them with me, and I know that my friend from India will share the mulberries with me. I know that my friend from Zimbabwe lives across the hall, and that if I point to the poster in her room, she will break into song. I know that my friend from Lesotho will say that I'm "hlanya" when I pretend to speak seSotho, probably because I'm interrupting his physics work.

And I know that it's pronounced "li-SEW-too," not "li-so-THOUGH." (No judgement, America. Maybe only a little bit). But mostly, it's that this time around, I'm not flying across the ocean to a mystery - I'm returning to just another one of my lives, which I suppose is also inherently weird.

Anyways, I get to Swaziland on Sunday night, and then it's another year in Swaziland, and hopefully blog posts throughout. To any northern-hemisphere people reading this, enjoy the rest of your winter! (Teehee...)


  1. Love your time in Africa. Visiting Africa is my biggest dream. :)

  2. Thanks! I'm sure you'll figure out a way to travel, wherever it is :)