Monday, May 31, 2010

It's getting cold...

I've been avoiding a blog post for some time because I know I'll at least get misty eyed doing it...

Winter has fully come. I've survived my first sand storm (though it was mercifully short), and the nights leave me curled up in my bed with the space heater on full blast. My time here is drawing to a pretty quick close. I'm starting to notice things here and there that will kill me to miss. The kids I play with, the way the ladies who take care of the clinic ask me how I'm doing each morning. The way Dorothy yells [with a whole lot of love] at the kids who hang outside her window at the clinic. The thumbs up people give you on the road when you let them in front of you. How I won't be able to say "Ay wena, suka!" to anyone once I'm home and know that they know what I'm saying, and none of the giggles that ought to follow. All the slang I learned in Durban will be useless now. It's making me swok, I won't be able to chune with my lighties this side, though I hope to vy back one day, at least for a night at the jol, varay. Meet up, Sadeck, Jermaine, Bender, and all the folks of Stonebridge, and the Location! We'll comber in the future, no flop, I never lie to you.

No more snot covered (and completely adorable) children begging to be launched skyward to be caught by me, laughing uproariously. No more, "Mollo bhuti, unjani?" No more "uRich!," "Howzit?," "Is it?," "Lekker me bru," "Hlamba imoto?" No more amaqina. No more isiXhosa. No more excitement for 2010, (I leave the day the 2010 World Cup starts).

I'll miss my neighbors, grazzi Georgio, gracias Francisco, salaam Iqbal. I'll miss the kids at the clinic. I'll miss each Tuesday when what seems like a hundred mothers bring their tiniest child, each one cherished and bright eyed (when their eyes are open) to be cared for. I'll miss being antagonized by some of the older kids, ("small boy! you are a blind man") and then just walking towards them, them retreating, knowing that I won't do much of anything, but still engaging in a game of cat and mouse. I'll miss my TB patients, and the relationships we've built upon their infirmities and my want to help them. I'll miss the nurses and staff at the Ngangalizwe Health Clinic. I'll miss this and that and the other thing, the list goes on, and it will certainly grow (and oh baba that scares and saddens me).

I'll miss the friends who always keep their weekends open (enkosi kakulu, Ntando, Ngara, Msi, Yonga, and several others who deserve to be named).

But I've got 10 more days, and I don't have to miss anything quite yet. Soak it up, life's umhle, kakulu.