I always have thought that home is where people care about you and never realized how true that is. Over the past year I have felt extremely transient between traveling, moving to Botswana, and having the constant motion in Botswana from place to place. Although I always have embraced constant motion, a year has been too much. Just as soon as Kanye felt like home we left. Hukuntsi started to feel like home just before I broke my foot and then life was a jumble of movement and being stuck in the house. Everything felt completely unstable and then I went to Pretoria.
I arrived back at my village late Tuesday and had a slow crutch/stumble in the dark down the gravel and sand roads that led to our house. Although it was great to see John I felt completely jostled, cramped, dejected and beat down as any long bus ride in Botswana will do, not to mention my foot was killing me.
The bus ride itself was a whirlwind of emotions as normal. Some other time I will have to detail bus rides here. They are an amazing mix of wonderful and awful, but now that I have gotten used to them I do not mind them (other than the constant shooting pains when you have a broken foot). Luckily the other riders made the ride bearable and ensured I had a seat when I probably would have been standing for about 4 hours of the ride due to a required bathroom break.
Since I have been home I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of friendship coming from friends, coworkers, as well as neighbors. The first full day I was home John and I then decided to go for a walk/crutch to a make sure I got some exercise. After rounding the first corner a truck came driving up, stopped by us, and a neighbor came running out hugging me. She does not speak any English and my Setswana has gone downhill since I have been gone, so we had a short conversation with lots of hand gestures and unexpected emotion and said “Go Siame” (good bye). After the next corner another truck stopped. This one was filled with coworkers who were all coming to check on me and bring mail. While stopping by the store I caught up with a few friends and Joe gave us a ride back, luckily because my foot was ready for a break.
The next day, Dika, a friend, stopped by and we talked and played cards for a few hours. During his visit Dr. Yimmam, another friend and coworker, called to make plans for the following day. Every day that we have gone out we run into more friends and acquaintances. I know that Hukuntsi is home and I am increasingly content to be in my community and know that we have already made an impact through friendships. I also know I am not the same person I was when I came here.