A case of severe homesickness abroad

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THERE is a feeling that afflicts people abroad — one so horrible it can only be described as ‘severe home-sickness’.
This feeling is heightened by nostalgia or a longing for the familiar, especially if one has been away for a while.
One misses home; the smell of summer, the smell of the rains hitting the sun-baked soil for the first time after a dry spell.
Social gatherings where one speaks in his/her language are severely missed.
You have day dreams of crossing flooded Masekandauya Stream or of just seeing a cow or milking it.
So many things we take for granted at home become a wonder abroad.
The insensitive ones will be quick to say, pack your bags and go back home.
Home sickness is technically classified as an anxiety and can express itself in mild to extreme forms. This can happen to anyone; children, adults, seniors, short-term travellers, long-term travellers and expats.
Many people feel this way if they see something which reminds them of home.
Most Zimbabweans get homesickness because of the culture shock.
The culture shock is intense and many feel unstable in their new surroundings and are frustrated by the language barrier and the lack of close friends.
Sometimes our accent makes it difficult to communicate effectively with those around us.
Most realised that the nose-stifled accent was not the proper English accent when they got to the UK.
Speaking through your nose, which is widely accepted at home as classic English, makes you queer here and this failure to hit-it-off with the Britons triggers serious home-sickness.
This is a feeling that affects everybody at some point while they try to sort out their new life here.
Most people wish for visits from friends and family.
When we are visited here, people travel from far and wide to see guests from Zimbabwe. This is not always a sign of love but serious home-sickness.
Any person old enough to be your mother and who speaks your language becomes your mother.
Maputi become a delicacy.
When best friends visit, just seeing the familiar faces brings indescribable feelings of joy.
When you drop them off at the airport, you are overwhelmed with sadness.
We make many new friends but they can never compare to those we grew up with — those we have many years of goodness and badness.
It is only when you are in a foreign land that you begin to see the value of the many things taken for granted.
These feelings of loss are made worse by the fact that you cannot easily pick up a phone and ask friends over to hangout; there is barely enough time as most of it is spent in work.
We go about our daily business and lose touch if we don’t work at keeping in touch.
Of course there is whatsapp, facetime, facebook and e-mail, more than enough tools in our hands to stay connected but there’s nothing like hugging an old friend and seeing that excited look on his/her face.
People abroad miss out on weddings, funerals and parties.
They miss dinner with the family as well as visiting aunties and uncles.
All the time people are thinking about going back home.
The cities here are not paved in gold; they do not glitter at all.
We could be in cities filled with millions of people but they are all strangers who cannot take away the loneliness.
Just hearing the familiar voice of your parents, or siblings, helps in curing home-sickness.
People abroad may say all they may, but they have a deep connection and love for home.
Zimbabwe is their country and it can never have a substitute.
Home is best!
Vazet2000@yahoo.co.uk

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