Apparently everyone who goes abroad for some time goes through the four H-phases:
Reflecting back on my three months in Mayana I can defenitely vow to that.
In the beginning the whole setting in Mayana felt so romantic…aka “white massai romance” 😉 It all seemed so in peace with a slow start in the morning, enjoying those first sunbeams while making fire and having a coffee. Getting water, cooking on the fire and doing your laundry by hand is just one big adventure – maybe the last true one out there – and you end your day with those amazing Namibian sunsets, sitting around the fire and watching the shooting stars flying by! Awwww how romantic!
But just after about 3 weeks you enter the hostility phase. And as off my experience this is also the amount of time which distinguishes a tourist from a racist. The romance has vanished, you have had your share of true encounters with the locals, you’re being annoyed with how things work and you start noticing thoughts in your head like “no wonder they live like that”, “I knew they’d take chances and can’t be trusted” or “they’ll never make it on their own”. I got very frustrated with people not pushing forward, not persweing their goals or simply ignoring what we agreed on.
But once you accepted the difference in cultures you start laughing in your head about useless rules, procedures or the approach on things and just think to yourself “awww, bless them”.
And as soon as you make your peace with it neither being right or wrong, just different, you start feeling at home. I noticed by having picked up some of the local facial expressions, not having to think about speaking a few Rukangali phrases, knowing how things are done and especially by not being asked anymore by members of the community if I was lost and looking for my lodge.
So returning after exactly one year just felt like coming home. And amazing! Right after getting off the plane I took a deep breath and enjoyed the smell of fresh and crisp air. Just like I remembered it! The procedure at the airport of course hadn’t changed. And neither had the boarder patrol officer. She flipped through my passport, looked up and told me that she stamped my passport a year ago. Always nice to see familiar faces! And I can’t wait to see more of those during the next three weeks. I am very excited to learn and experience what has changed in Mayana or maybe what hasn’t and I can’t wait to see some dear friends!