Goodbye (for now) Congo!

So my 6 weeks in Congo have finally come to an end! On one hand it feels like it went by too fast but on the other hand it was not going by fast enough. The last week especially felt like a year! I knew it was just a few days now and I would soon be reunited with the love of my life for a super romantic honeymoon in Tanzania. One week only, but it was so long!

The night before my departure I was quite anxious, I kept procrastinating packing and watched some stupid series instead. To add to my anxiety one of my well meaning ‘psychic’ friends sent me a alarmist message asking if I was okay, because she had bad vibes! Thank you very much sweet friend! My already on edge nerves were now ready to be fried! My roommate made helpful jokes and told me to relax. Apparently, she had experienced this before as well, after being somewhere ‘dangerous’ for a while and nothing happens, the last 24 hours before leaving can feel like a pain in the ass and all the anxiety from the past days can creep up on you. Anyway. I don’t know what it was with me, but it was not only anxiety but also the fact that I was leaving. I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to pack. 6 weeks is a short time but I made a life for myself here and it felt so right, I was not ready to let go of that yet.

This realization already made things a little easier. I reassured myself that I would come back and got to packing. Two hours and a super sweet girl talk with ‘A’ later, I went to bed. A was back in the house with me. She was my first friend in DRC and it was quite sweet that I was ending my DRC adventure with her there. Felt like the trip was coming to a full circle.
The next morning I woke up quite early and was all ready to go an hour before my pick up. Finally my pick up arrived 2 hours later and off we were! Within 10 minutes we were at the border already. 20 minutes later I was done with all the formalities and I had an exit stamp on my DRC visa. I still had to sit there for an hour waiting for my driver to finish his formalities(apparently it takes longer for Congolese nationals). And as I sat there on the pavement staring at the sign – Democratic Republic of Congo – I felt a feeling rise in me, a feeling of saying goodbye to a dear friend. The Congo. In just six weeks it had given me so much. I had come there feeling scared and numb and I was leaving a different person. How different I am only yet to find out. Being here, having all the experiences that I had helped me find new stories not only about DRC but also about myself. In falling in love with this glorious, messy, chaotic beauty called the Congo, I fell more in love with the chaos within me.

I didn’t know much about the Congo before I met it, and now I don’t know much more but I want to know and I want the world to know more than the single negative dominant narrative that comes out of this beautiful country. If these 6 weeks were a glimpse into the magnificence of the world’s best kept secret, it has only left me longing for more.

So, Aurevoir dear friend. Until we meet again. 🙂

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