Blogging · Me myself and I · Thoughts · Word of the day

My 4th of July…

 

Today, The Internets will get flooded with mentions about Independence Day. It is not a bad thing, and I think that our American friends can use the worldwide virtual hug!

But July 4th has a totally different meaning to me and my family.

Twenty four years ago, we were moving back to Canada, after spending five years in Guinea. Of all the experiences my parents gave my little brother and I, I believe this was the most life changing.

As an eleven years old little girl, moving to such a foreign country was both scary and exciting. I can’t imagine the conversations Mom and Dad must have had before taking the decision to take their children overseas, to a remote village where nothing we had learnt about life applied.

It must have been frightening, to say the least, but within a couple of months, we moved from our North American comfort slippers to a new expat’s life. I could write a whole book about my five years in Guinea. We learnt so much.

Even after twenty four years, I regularely think about how the whole experience made me a better person. How it taught me of other ways to live than the one we knew in QuΓ©bec. How to appreciate the little things, how to appreciate time.

I met and lived with people with another God, another language, another skin color. I learnt that we could be neighbours and that difference was to be embraced and not be feared.

We knew it was just a temporary thing. And when we flew back for good we brought back all the memories and the knowledge with us.

I do appreciate having drinkable water from the tap, and electricity at all time. I like being at walking distance of grocerie stores that provide me with pretty much anything I wish to eat. It is good not to have to worry about exotic illnesses and poisonous snakes… But every now and then, I wish I could go back to this simple, slow and worry-free life I left behind, when I came back.

Twenty four years ago…

Today, when I’ll give Mom and Dad a call, to talk about how quick time passes by, I’ll make sure to thank them for taking this life changing decision. Just like I do, every year.

Oh! And a happy Independence Day to you all, American friends, in the U.S. and abroad!

 

Via today’s Word of the Day:Β Independence

32 thoughts on “My 4th of July…

    1. I totally agree… It is a bit (totally) utopian to imagine that, but if everybody got to live in a completely different culture for a couple of years, as some kind of mandatory worldwide exchange program, I’d bet anything there would be a lot less hate and war!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I understand Tony… I think a lot of people feel the same… But I hope you won’t lose all your patriotism, because your country is not the problem, its leader is.

      A great horse remains a great horse, even if its jockey sucks at riding it!

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    1. I might choose some memories, and turn them into a couple of posts to see how people react… I have so many stories… Everyday was an adventure πŸ™‚

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    1. I’d have to test drive a couple of anecdotes, perhaps, to see what people think about it… I sure would enjoy writing all these memories, but if people aren’t really interested in reading stories about Africa, seen through the eyes of a child/teenager, it would be useless πŸ˜‰ Thank you for the advice, I will prepare a couple of posts to see if there is some interest in such stories πŸ˜‰ xx

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    1. Thank you,, Kate πŸ™‚ I was such a lucky kid, and I am truly grateful for it…

      As I told Cheryl and Brutus, I’ll prepare a couple of anecdotes, to see if people could be interested in my Africa times… If so, I just might rethink my daily schedule and make some time to work on that πŸ™‚ Thank you for your constant support! xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you had fun celebrating πŸ™‚

      Yes, it was quite a change for children the ages of 8 and 11… But I think it was the best time to go live abroad, because children are real sponges!! A great great experience, I’d recommend it to everybody! πŸ™‚ xx

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  1. I remember spending time in Chile, Argentina and Peru about 30 years ago. When I came back to Toronto it was Christmas time and the window of one big department store had a scene with Teddy Bears , a family and the momma bear was making something at the sink, The sink had running water. In the window of a department store. Just a Christmas display!! I stood and looked at it in amazement. I had just spent months in countries where there were many people without running water. I had been away for several months in and this window shocked me.

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    1. This made me smile big time, Anne… And it reminded me of the first times I went to stores like Walmart and Costco after being back from Guinea… I litterally got a spinning head, looking at all the goods stacked up to the ceiling… It was just mind blowing to see so much food, and stuff available, when all we had in our village was a small commisary.

      Thank you for sharing your story πŸ™‚ xx

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  2. I cant imagine living there! what an experience it was for a little girl! Your parents did a good thing, though. You got to experience another culture, another way of living, and that is a great thing! xxx

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