June 23rd marked 7 months in Bissau. It feels like its been forever. My life has become so routine that sometimes I forget about the states. And then I have random days where I get hit with a hard case of home sickness.
But the coming and going of the 7 month mark is significant because my intention was to stay here for 7 months and then go back to the states. “We make plans and God laughs” right?
There are a couple of reasons why I’m not going home, yet at least, because lord knows, as much as I’m enjoying my self, I’m ready for a break from this country.
The 1st reason I’m not leaving is because of my job. I am leaving a lot, meeting a lot of people, and seeing what “development” really looks like. It’s intimidating sometimes, because I’m working with high profile people and they don’t teach you how to work with high profile people in college. But I have been truly blessed with this opportunity and I want to see where it takes me.
The 2nd reason is , even if I wanted to leave, I don’t have enough money to get out of here! Haha Can you believe that its 250,000xof (500 dollars) just to get to Dakar, Senegal. And its only a 45-minute plane ride! SF to LA is an hour plane ride and 100 bucks! Anyways, a flight back to the states is about 1,500 dollars. One of these days I’ll be back.
The 3rd reason I’m staying is my step-dad. As I mentioned when I started my blog, he is here on a mission, which is getting his ranch up and running! He was also planning on staying until June, returning to the states for a couple months and coming back to Bissau in December. Unfortunately the truck took so long to get out of the port that it put a lot of our plans behind schedule. He has to stay to work through these next couple of months so we can save up money to fix up the house he has in Bissau and start planning and organizing what we’ll start doing in terms of working on his ranch.
We are really starting from square one and the journey is, has been and continues to be a beautiful struggle.
I think deep down I knew I wasn’t going home… or at least all my friends knew. When I told them I was leaving, they would ask if I was ever coming back. I had told them all 7 months, so it was amusing to me that they would ask anyways. But many of my friends told me I wasn’t coming back in 7 months. Haha! I guess they know me better then I know my self.
But the good news is well be getting lots of visitors to keep these next couple of months to keep it interesting. My sister in France is coming with her family ( her husband and 2 small children) at the end of the month through the end of August. My Uncle Armindo is coming in September. My dad will be in Mauritania for the next 4 months, so I’m thinking about a birthday present to myself to go and visit him. Lastly, My mom and siblings will be coming for a month in December!
So how long will I stay? I’m not sure. I imagine a year from now I’ll revisit this question. It will give me a year to get some work experience and a year save money to travel some of West Africa. I’ve been reading other “travel’ blogs and its truly inspiring reading what other people in the world and doing. But I plan to keep writing about the ins and outs of Life in Bissau. There’s never a dull moment. Cheers!