As I face yet another goodbye, it makes me think of all the people who have left Malawi and left a bit of a hole in my life. Goodbyes are never fun, or easy but when you live in Mzuzu, with a very small community, you grow close to people in a short time and saying goodbye is even harder. These people are an integral part of your daily life and to suddenly not have them there anymore is hard.
Somewhere like Malawi is peppered with people who are here on one or two year contracts (or even shorter) it feels like you are constantly saying goodbye. It's very hard to say goodbye to people you spend most weekends with, knowing that you may never see them again. When you come to a place knowing no one, you latch onto some people (sounds clingy but that's how it works) and those people become your pseudo-family. They are people who you celebrate and commiserate with. People who know your life in this country inside out, people you text constantly, people you laugh and get drunk with, people you cry and sit in silence with, people who have lived (or in Ross' case squatted) in my house. When you have to say goodbye it is harder than the goodbyes in Dublin airport. I know I'll always return to Ireland but when will I go to Kitchener, Spring Lake, Santa Clarita or Saint Catherine's?
So here's an ode to our departed friends. You guys made Mzuzu a place I was happy to be and I just wish you were still here. Let me extend an open invite to all to come visit me in Ireland/wherever in the world I may end up.
All of these photos are people who have left, and I miss terribly. There are many more who have left and I don't have photos of (or only photos in which I look hideous). Miss you guys
Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes. ~Henry David Thoreau