Jesus Freak. Ethiopian. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Grad student. Psychology.
…and by that, I mean Ethiopia. More specifically, Nekemte - the town where I was born and raised. After moving to America in 2001, I went back to visit for the first time in 2003. Spending 2 months in Addis Ababa and Nekemte was the time of my life. Coming back to America after such a blissful summer spent with family was heartbreaking. I remember I felt so lonely and miserable, more than a 13 year old should have to feel. But, as one must do in life, I readjusted.
I had to wait 6 years to go back home. In 2009, I went back for my uncle’s wedding. This time, I only spent a month there. What made this visit more beautiful than the last visit was seeing a different part of ET. I spent a few days in Jimma and it was just gorgeous to me. In the overall month I had, I found a little bit of myself that I had lost in the past six years.
Although it has only been 2 years since my last visit, I feel the need to go back overwhelming me. It feels as if I am losing a vital part of me. This feeling of loss stems from many things: being isolated from the people & culture, losing fluency in my language, not feeling like I’m preserving my traditions, and etc. The main issue is losing my language.
However, I don’t think I can go back for a while. Life as a soon-to-be-college-graduate is getting in the way. There is always something I have to do. Granted, there is a period of 1 week I can go for but why tease myself like that? Next time I go, it needs to be for a month or two. I have a list of things I need to do while I’m there — and no, they’re not trivial items like going to see this place or that. They’re a list of things that must be done as a part of my journey of self-discovery.