I moved to Japan from Zimbabwe in February this year and it has been the biggest move of my life so far. Considering all the ups and downs happening in our beloved country, I often hear remarks like,
“You are lucky you got a chance to get out”.
There is truth to that; I can`t stress enough how good it feels to be in a place where things function. You can follow your passion and still earn a good living from it. The list could go on forever but I`m sure you get the idea.
So how is it really like living “kuchando” as it’s affectionately known back home?
It’s great. For starters, it took me a while to get used to the idea of electricity not going and having constant running water. I was lucky enough to live in the City of Kings for two years in Zimbabwe and because I lived close to a hospital, we had running water and electricity most days.
Yet, whenever I went home to Harare, it was a nightmare as we barely had electricity and about two days of water in a week. If you live in Zimbabwe, you know how frustrating that was, so a change of scenery was refreshing.
Of course, I moved to secure the bag (getting money) and it feels good getting paid my worth and affording basics. There is nothing worse than working hard and not being appreciated for it in deserved monetary value. Words are magnificent and all, but we need something tangible of value to pay the bills with.
So yes, getting paid felt superb. I mean this is the first time in a long time that I haven`t stressed over money issues. We all just want that in all honesty, to be able to buy delicate things, basic foods, and daily products. It was getting harder to do at home.
There is also an efficient transport system. I have only ever been delayed because of weather problems. The wind was too strong for trains to move safely, so most were either cancelled or delayed. The price setting is the same and you can plan efficiently for your journey and even in advance for the month by using bus passes and so on.
It might not be an important factor for some, but for me being able to rely on public transportation means a lot. I have considered getting a car, but it feels more like an inconvenience than anything else.
There is a lot more that I haven`t touched on, like cleanliness and safety are a story for another day.
That being the case and with all the goodness, you still miss a lot about home. I know I do. I miss being amongst family and friends, sharing something as simple as a meal. I miss hugs and kisses from them. I love seeing the sunset whilst in Domboshava, feeling the breeze of the African air through the car window as we take a drive.
I miss being surrounded by my native tongue. It`s beautiful to hear. The more you see other people celebrating their culture, the more you miss yours and crave for it.
As bad as it may be there, I miss being home, it’s where my roots and heritage are and I would give everything to be there. I always find myself telling my colleagues tales of home, how beautiful it is, and all the good things I can think of…