Thursday, October 29, 2009

Going Back

I've been back from Cameroon for almost a month now and I'm still trying to put things into order in my mind. I went to be a construction worker. I did that, I feel we accomplished a lot, I really believe in what we did............but I can't stop thinking about Mbingo.

We moved to Mbingo when I was six years old and lived there until I was ten. This is the house we lived in as it looks now. A little different but still very much the same in many ways.

I went to on this trip with my Dad and so it was extra special to return to our old home for a couple of days in the middle of our three weeks there. As we climbed into the mountains of the Northwest Province, the temperature got cooler and the scenery got more dramatic and lush. When we got to the house we all went out to the edge of the yard almost immediately.

Our old house is at the back of the valley and on a ledge half way up the mountain side. The view is just as incredible as it ever was. It draws you to it. You can't help but go to that edge and look out, just standing and soaking it in.

As I've sorted through my thoughts and feelings, I've been trying to track down the real heart of the matter for me.

I remember standing on the edge of that yard many times, looking out, watching the people below go about their business. It's where I learned, watching a man cut wood with an ax, about the speed of light compared to the speed of sound. I watched the MAF plane land on the airstrip with people running toward it across the valley. I watched a lot of beautiful sunsets and the creep and flow of clouds from the mouth of the valley, up over our house, and then over the mountains.

But what I think affected me the most were the trees. The tall, beautiful Eucalyptus trees. They stand in a thick grove north and west of the house and line the road up the hill, framing Mbingo Hill looking back.

I've always loved walking in the woods, especially when the trees are tall and have that soft rustling sound going. Now I know why. I spent a lot of time in those trees.

It really was "going home" even with all the changes that have taken place since I was ten. I love that place and it was incredibly therapeutic to be there. I cried when we left.