Thursday, October 9, 2008

those we love

You gotta give it to our parents. They will go anywhere to be with us! Goma is not for the faint hearted. It is not exactly a tourist destination. And yet in the past two months we have had both my parents and my husband's parents here to visit us (along with a niece). They arrived as fighting in Eastern Congo is heating up again. And yet we all had a wonderful time.

Everyone loved seeing our parents here. I guess Congolese are used to seeing white people arrive, with aid programs or business deals. But they are not used to seeing them arrive with parents in tow. Sometimes, as I walk around Goma, i think that the children in the street don't believe that I am real at all. White people are simply strange beings from another planet, so rich and fortunate that nothing can ever touch us. Our lives are like the jewlery in a shop, glittering under its protective covering. But everyone has parents. Everyone can understand the love that brings parents half way around the world to see their child. Everyone can understand what it is like to have your loved ones far away. As i talk to friends across the world, as we try to hammer out lives for ourselves in the most disparate of worlds, it seems to me that this is one issue we all return to again and again. The people we love are simply too far away. I wish the world were smaller, so I could have everyone I love under one roof, or atleast in one country.

But in the meantime, until the world gets smaller, I am so grateful for loved ones who make the trip, even when it requires 20 hours in a plane.

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