A Taste of Ubuntu

Choosing to live in another country means that you miss out on the things at home, friends getting married and having children, your family buying a new dog, the Sunday brunches, milestones and moments in between. Sometimes words cannot really explain how it feels to be this far from home, especially when things happen unexpectedly.

I got a call in the middle of the day, which meant it was the crack of dawn back home. That is when the news was broken to me, unexpected and heartbreaking, he was gone. The worst of all of the emotions was that I could not do a thing, I was helpless on this side of the world. I couldn’t help with arrangements, I couldn’t make a pot of tea, I couldn’t attend the spreading of his ashes. In moving over here, it is something that plays in the back of my mind constantly, how selfish I have actually been in making this decision, but knowing that I need to live out my dream anyway.

The one thing that I have learnt through this is that you are only as strong as your support structure and I have realised that I have an incredible one!

To my family who dropped everything to be with me and take me away for a while so that I could have a little bit of home with me in those moments and have a memorial of my own with them. For allowing me to cry over Skype and talk about where I am at.

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To my flatmates who have made sure that I am fed, alive and not wallowing in my own self pity, for offering copious amounts of tea, checking on me daily, putting up with my badly timed jokes, cleaning my room and for being my family while I have been away from mine, you guys are two amazing humans.

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To my friends in Hong Kong who dropped everything in a seconds notice to find me crying on a park bench, for the flowers, the texts, the hugs.

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My friends back home for making sure my family is okay, checking in on me and encouraging me.

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You have all been my support structure, you have acknowledged the pain, allowed me to grieve and move forward one day at a time. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and would not have made it without each one of you.

One cannot predict the future and to quote Cinderella’s mother in Into the Woods, ” Good fortune, like bad, can befall when least expected.” In order to embrace these moments of good and bad fortune, you need to make sure you have a support system that is strong enough to get you through, none of that “a man is an island” crap. You cannot do life alone, you were not meant to. In South Africa we have a term called UBUNTU, “I am, because of who we all are”, Well to my family and friends (near and far), I am today because of who you have all been to me.

Love and adventures to all

Jade

Written in loving memory of my dad, I will for ever be your brown eyed girl.

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