I mentionned a couple of days back, that I lived in Guinea for five years.
Some people seemed interested about my experience, and I thought I could start a couple of short prompts about my life in Africa. I have a lot of clear memories of my time spent abroad, but I think it would be difficult to make a chronologically correct story telling. I was just a kid back then…
So I’ll try to use our Word of the Day challenge to write a little everyday.
I’m using this title because it resonates with me every time I hear it, and in honor of Karen Blixen, the famous Danish writer.
I had a wonderful childhood. Mom and Dad were always very loving and although we weren’t very wealthy, my parents always made sure we had what we needed.
Children are sometimes mean, and in primary school, I was far from popular. I was chubby, I had braces and glasses, and I was the teacher’s pet, so if someone had to be picked on in the school yard, that person was pretty much always me.
When Mom and Dad sat us at the kitchen table one evening, to announce that some company from the United States wanted my father to go work for them in Africa, I was quite perplex. It seemed like a great adventure was ahead of us, but on the other hand, it meant moving away, far far away from my grand parents, and leaving our house, and pretty much everything we knew and had.
If anyone ever doubted my love for words, here’s proof that I am not lying. My only condition for agreeing to move (not that I had much of a say in the final decision) was that I wanted to be sure there would be a library where we were going.
And there was, so with that covered, we moved, in the middle of February of 1990.
I knew children were gregarious creatures, but I was a bit scared to meet the other expat kids when we settled in Kamsar. My experience with other children hadn’t been the best, even if I had always dreamt about hanging around with a bunch of them. It looked like so much fun…
My reality changed drastically when I arrived in Guinea. I knew there were not a lot of kids in the village where we would now live. What I didn’t know, was that this limited number of potential friends, made every new arrival very exciting to the kids living in Kamsar.
Long before we landed at the airport, children were fighting over who’d get to make friends with my brother and I first… And as soon as we were brought to the tiny town, the phone started ringing, and the wish to come and meet with us fused from everywhere…
Facebook didn’t exist, back then, but I got a lot of friend requests that day. More than I had ever dreamt of.
Right from day one, my life was taking a turn for the better. And as you’ll learn, if I go on with these little stories, our tight little group would take me on many adventures kids back in Canada, where I had always lived, would never even imagine.
Via today’s Word of the Day Challenge: Gregarious