I left village.
Even typing those words doesn’t quite make it real.
A tiny part of me still thinks I’ll be going back; that this is just another break in Ouaga. I am wondering when it’s going to sink in that David will never run to me with his little chubby two-year old arms, I will never shake hands with all those old women at the market anymore, I may never see the stars from Alima’s house as we chat about life, and that I … left village.
It was difficult. It was frustrating. It was joyful. It was exciting. It was sad.
It had drama and expectations. It had laughter and love. It had people who had gotten to know and accept me. It had people who never really liked me but pretended to. It had sunsets and sunrises. It had adorable children who didn’t understand yet. It had old women who understood too well. It had unexpected gifts and expected giving. It had a few quickly hidden tears by close friends. It had a few not quickly enough hidden tears by me. It had a night of my best friend in village reminding me of all the real reasons I had to go home because she knew. It had long days of me convincing everyone I wasn’t leaving because I didn’t care, but in spite of the fact that I still cared deeply. It had Burkinabe left hand shakes, French kisses on the cheek and people surprised by American hugs. It had good bye.
It was just… full.