A few weeks from now, I will be leaving my beloved first country assignment of Burkina Faso. Though it may not be the best country to conduct my training but I learned to love her. That, despite of my poor French communication skills and my not-black-not-white-skin. I’m out of place.
I’m maybe the only Filipino in the country as of the moment. Well, I’m not entirely sure about that but I haven’t met a Kabayan in my 2 years of stay here. Also, I rarely leave our site. So who knows? But I don’t worry about that too much because the nature of Burkinabes or Africans in general are very welcoming. Almost feels like better than home. Better than home that it’s almost not weird to smile at any stranger or greet them. Back home, if someone would greet me a “Good morning!” or smile at me without any reason, I would be totally freaked out. Filipinos are vigilant like that.
Rewind to my arrival in Ouagadougou. It was a nice sunny morning of May 2015. The moment I stepped out of the plane, a whiff of very warm air welcomed my being. Very welcoming that it’s painful even. Back at the hotel, I was greeted by giant geckos. It was nice. We also have geckos in the Philippines. Reminds me of home.
To be honest, I didn’t expect myself to last this long. I thought it would only take a couple of months for me to quit. I’m surprised. One rotation is finished, contacted Malaria, experienced Coup detat, and almost got killed in a terrorist attack in the hotel where I always stay, and almost two years after, I’m writing this blog post almost teary eyed. Burkina Faso is my home now.
I know it’s cheezy but that’s how I feel. I’m more comfortable here than in the Philippines. Weird!
A few days back, I received an email from our office in Makati. The email that I’ve been waiting for since my friend from Zambia and Senegal received theirs. I was excited and scared at the same time because the country indicated in the email will be my home for the next couple of years.
When I opened the attached .pdf file and read where I will be assigned next, my heart sank. I feel so weak that it seems like a dementor just passed by and gave me a quick kiss. I will be assigned in Uganda. Another African country. I didn’t know what happened in my past life to deserve this. I have nothing against Africa but a change of environment would be better for me.
My tentative schedule is on the 13th of April so I only have less than a month of vacation. Actually, I booked a trip to Japan and Korea that I need to cancel because of this update in my schedule. Too bad, I’ve been planning for this trip since July last year. Maybe the Sakura can wait for me next year.
So there, I may be a bit bitter now but who knows maybe Uganda is a good country. Maybe we can go to a Safari over there or to her neighboring country, Kenya. And I’ll make sure I’ll enjoy the majority of my stay in Uganda. Majority because sometimes I need to be miserable too.