Back to some sharing from an old notebook when I was 16 years old and “expatriate teen in West Africa” was “who I was”.
Abut this picture: The bottom book is my baby book, kept by Mom until recently, and, the top “book”, a humble old green graph paper only “cahier” I remember Mom giving me, from her notebook stash, when I went to her and asked her if she had an old notebook that I could write in.
FROM MY EARLIEST JOURNALS, WHEN I WAS SIXTEEN:
June 20, 1973. (I was home in Cameroun, from the Congo, on summer vacation)”Last night I told Mom all about S. (a boy I had a crush on, at school in the Congo) and it was an unexpected relief to get it all out to someone who would be able to view it from an objective viewpoint. What can I do except wait and pray? – But that is about the hardest thing TO do. Somehow, God is going to work it out, the very best way. (this boy never did end up “liking me” at all, in the next couple years or at any time)
I never thought I’d REALLY miss TASOK for the three months of summer vacation, but I am. It is so great to have so many beautiful people (note, now, from myself – “beautiful people” is a phrase we kids at TASOK tended to use a lot, in the seventies !) , friends, around you all the time.
Anytime you want to, almost, you can go talk to somebody, or goof off and act like a spazz, or just go and be quiet and listen to music or something.
It has bothered me some that I didn’t want to come home worse than I did, and now that I am home I miss it at TASOK – it is like MPH (my boarding hostel) and TASOK (my school – The American School of Kinshasa) have become a real home to me.
But, that’s natural when you grow up – you always grow apart from “home”. You make your own life, and, when your(sic)going to a boarding school or something, often it’s COMPLETELY your own. In other words, you are what you make yourself when you’re at a place like TASOK with no brothers and sisters.
Then you come home, full of independence and pride in yourself, convinced that you’ve changed for the better an awful lot, that you’ll be pretty cool at home now. But when you’re home you suddenly realize you’re not so cool after all but regarded just the same by your parents pretty much and by your brothers and sisters and all the other people on the station and – your balloon deflates! You’re fighting with your sister and taking the head off your little brother and lazing around doing nothing and making no use of yourself at all!
Oh well, I guess that’s just part of coming home! “