Thousands of days have passed since I left Zanzibar some hundred plus months ago. And, I think nary a day I have not thought about East Africa, my past and my hopeful future of living in Zanzibar again. The idea is certainly one which is appealing still, but I am becoming very clear on my own reality, my priorities, and some of the reasons why. My family is so important to me, and while my Zanzibari family is included in my concept of the word ‘family’, nothing could replace my own mother, father, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, cousins, and of course the extended family living in the States.
I think what’s becoming clear is that I will always have my Zanzibari family, and considering that they are living across the world, I will always be able to visit and see them, as they are always welcome with me and mine in the States.
There was a committment made years ago on December 14, 1996 – I vowed to return within 10 years. I kept my word. Whenever I thought of visiting another country or place, I found it difficult to spend the money for airfare and travel expenses when I wanted so strongly to return to Zanzibar – in some cases I think my desire for a return kept me from travelling elsewhere. While I know I will return here again Insh’allah (which means ‘if God wishes it’), there are a great many other places I would now like to travel to. Italy will probably be first for a friend’s wedding, with Hawai’i, the Scandanavian countries, the UK, Japan, Australia, Portugal and Spain, Indonesia, and Alaska following closely behind. Hopefully I can scratch one of these off of the list each year.
I love travelling, and I can’t wait to see the rest of the world. I could not go anywhere else before coming to Zanzibar first, for many reasons. One of the biggest reasons was that I needed to deal with the wounds of the past. It’s happening, and the future is starting to open up and stretch out for me…