Never did update this blog to show that I had made the great transition in moving from Kenya to the much unknown Wenzhou, China. And time is sometimes lost on me ‘cause that little event took place more than a year ago. And since that time I think China, unexpectedly, has grown quite a bit on me (this from someone who had specifically sworn off China – among other areas – earlier in his life).
I guess it was coming back to Kenya that really brought the point home. Personally, of all the people that ever had the chance to travel, I always felt that I am the least adequately suited. A true introvert, I’m more inclined to sit back and just blend into the environment (…but my depth is usually revealed in one-to-one conversations). With my predisposition towards been laid back, it takes me a while to get used to a place, and when I find that little slice of comfort, I never really want to move out of more than just that mere zone. So I don’t tend to search out that new experience (“it” in most cases finds me) and the benefits of being in a totally different locale are wasted on me.
Another thing about finding that comfort zone – even in another country – is that once I’m whisked out of it, even if it means returning home, I am just left out-of-sorts. I’ve had the unfortunate experience of making my ‘home-away-from-home’ in countries that rank on a scale much bigger than Kenya – USA (Central PA) and China (Wenzhou). The resulting reverse culture shock is murder. I love my country, and I know it’s still a fledgling democracy (45 years), but we should be progressing much faster than we have in recent years. The rhetoric from politicians wouldn’t worry me so much, if I didn’t have the nagging impression that all this political tomfoolery is killing the public goodwill. That public goodwill is more powerful than all the well-meaning money people will ever sink into Kenya.
Anyway, political musings aside, home is where the heart is. And nothing connects me more to this place than friends and family. Some things change, some remain the same, but they’re always here for me. There’s nothing quite like being back home. A special shout-out goes to my soul-mate, who’s known me even before the day I was born – My Twin Brother. My polar opposite, he grounds me in Kenyan reality, and he is a useful guide for any trip back home.
(Some people are probably chiding me for not saying something wonderful here about my mother…but that is a longer undertaking deserving more than just a one liner or an afterthought).
Of course, having travelled makes me a different creature; eclectic actually. The beautiful woods of Grantham, PA (under the guidance of Dr. Foster) brought out a love for greenery I felt was only unique to my late father, and my time in Wenzhou is teaching me all about the joy of blending simplicity and tradition with great development and expansion. And as always, it’s great to walk with ordinary people and witness humility and kindness personified. Every friend picked up along the way is a lifelong treasure (…at least until the next big fight :)
Finding greatness in the seemingly ordinary makes life worth living for me. I’m hoping through this evolution that I’m picking up more good than bad; that I’m learning to be gentler and humble, and that at the end of it all I’ll be able to share it with others (“Opening up” just like my Father always wanted me to).
But till this holiday end in the next 2 weeks, I’m just glad to be home.