[Five Minute Friday] Leave


It’s the last Friday of October and as usual, I am linking up with Kate Motaung and a fantastic writer community. It’s also the last day of October, which means it’s Day 31 of the 31 Days in the Life of a TCK series! You made it to the end, yay! If you’re just starting now, you can find more info on the series here. Don’t forget to subscribe!
We went to see the animals at Lake Victoria. 
We went to sit at the beach. 
We went for dinner at a nearby hotel. 
It all seemed unreal. Our last day in Uganda. 
And finally, finally we went to the airport. 
I watched my parents check us in, drop off our luggage, say goodbye to friends and teammates. And then we walked down to the gates. 
I felt like in a trance. 
This was happening, but not to me. 
We were just dropping someone off and tonight I would sleep in my bed in our house in beautiful Namutamba and everything would be alright.
It was already dark outside when we walked onto the airfield and towards the plane. 
The tender summer breeze brought the smell from the Lake and you could see the lights glitter on the water’s surface. 
We boarded the plane, had layovers in Nairobi and Amsterdam, and then we were home.
I didn’t realize what had happened to me until a week later. 
I asked my mom when we’d be going back, but she said, “We’re not going back. 
We will stay here now.”
That’s when it hit me. 
I had really left. 
And I hadn’t even said goodbye. 
I am not a cryer normally. Which doesn’t mean I am not sad. 
But now I cried. 
For all the friends I hadn’t hugged one last time. 
For my best friend who I had left the day before as if I didn’t know we wouldn’t meet again the next day. 
For the village I had called my home. 
For all the memories I had made there and would never be able to repeat. 
For the piece of my heart I had left in the Pearl of Africa, Uganda.
I have had to leave quite a few other places since then. 
My family, South Africa, my teenage years, the US, university. 
Familiar faces, cozy houses, a certain lifestyle. 
Dreams of how my life should look like, dear relationships, broken hopes. 
I’m sure if you added your losses we’d get an entire novel together. 
Make sure you say goodbye. 
You never know if you’ll have the chance again.
Make sure you cry. 
Crying is a way to cleanse the soul and I have come to appreciate my tears sometimes. After the tears have ceased, another feeling wells up inside of me: thankfulness. 
My heart is overwhelmed with deep gratitude. 
For the beautiful places I got to live in. 
For the amazing people I had the privilege of meeting and who continue to be in my life. For the sweet memories I could make and can now hold on to. 
For God, who continues to walk with me and already knows where I’m heading to next. 
Well, and now I am leaving this series. 
It’s been a great month and I’ll surely reflect a bit about it after I had a short blogging break. 🙂
THANK YOU for staying with me on this journey, for your comments and thoughts, all your encouragement! 
I am leaving you with hopefully a lot of impressions, things to ponder, and the wish to embrace your TCK life a bit more…
What did you learn in the course of this series?

Author: Katha von Dessien

Teacher. Believer in the Wilderness. Third Culture Kid. World Traveler. People and Food at the Table Lover. Writer.

14 thoughts on “[Five Minute Friday] Leave”

  1. Thank you, Jen! I left when I was 14 and never returned (but hope to soon). It somehow always stays with you. Hope you have the chance to visit SA again!

  2. This is a beautiful painful post… goodbyes are never easy and yet, they are so important. But, as Jen said, I suspect even saying goodbye wouldn't have made it any easier! I think you take a bit of Uganda with you wherever you go!

  3. Oh, Katha, I wish I could just hug you. I'm still torn with hasty and improper/nonexistent goodbyes from when I left South Africa. It never fully leaves you, does it? When did you leave Uganda?

  4. Katha, this is truly lovely. Thank you for sharing these experiences. I agree that it's important to say goodbye, and thank you for reminding us that hope and gratitude follow grief. Congratulations on completing the challenging, and may God bless your writing adventures to come. ~ Renee

  5. Hello, Katha. Just popping in from #FMFparty. I'm your neighbor there. This is a lovely post. It sounds like you have such amazing memories of your time in Uganda. I do hope the Lord gives you the opportunity to go back and visit. Blessings to you.

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