So I am soon done with another summer back home in Sweden.
All years are actually very different from each other, and I like that.
I like that I still feel like I learn something new every year and feel like I am developing and expanding this side of me. I do not go home for holiday. I work as much, or even more, when I am here. My job in South Africa is still there, almost every day. Emails, contacts with my co worker, meeting students and volunteers that will come to South Africa later, marketing, social media, planning for the next semester. There is not one single day where I do not think about that job. But main focus is still on my job in Sweden, the days I am at work. Even other days too, in the way that the refugee situation in Europe is something that is and always will be a part of who I am. It's been 8 years since I first had my internship at a home for refugee youngsters in my hometown. And I loved it from day one. And I stil say; it's the best job in the world! All the different cultures, religions, ethnical backgrounds, food, music etc. All the conversations and sometimes quite hectic arguments. I love it all. The whole "package".
Last year with my visits to Hungary, Serbia and Greece to help at the borders is a year that I will never forget. It has changed who I am. It has changed my view of people and made me realise so much about myself and also about politics, and how human rights seems to mean less and less in this world. But at the same time as I've seen so much tragedy and coldness I have never felt so much love. It's a weird feeling and I feel that a lot in South Africa too. The people that comes from the worst surroundings and the most terrible life stories, are almost always the most loving and caring.
But being a refugee, running away from home. That desperation that makes you to take the decision to put yourself and your children in a small boat over open ocean, or over mountains in snow and minus degrees, or to lay under a truck or inside a truck that maybe never opens again and you will die.. That is something that I can not even try to explain. To see that look in some of those peoples eyes.. I have a hard time watching anything on tv about this. I cry basically every time. If I close my eyes I am there again, on that field in Rözke in september 2015, hell on earth.
It is still hard to understand that a child that has seen fear, war and death can smile and play and love.
If children could run the world, we maybe would have a chance to survive on this planet.
But, it's time to go back now. To go back home. Because even if I love my job here in Sweden, Cape Town is home. That's where I feel like me. That's where I feel calmness and warmth. I can not really seem to find a way to fit in or really enjoy the every day life in Sweden. I have not in a very long time.
I am excited for the year that is coming up. Lots or work. But in a good way. I am so glad that CJ asked me to join African Sunrise in February! I do not even wanna think of where I would have been today if she didn't.
I am stressing a lot over my visa. It's a long and slow process. I remember from last time. And I know it will be harder this time. Since 2014 it's just more complicated. If I am lucky I have my visa by Jan next year. Until then, everything is a bit unclear. And I hate that. To just wait and to not know. And it's worse when you are in another country where you do not know bureaucracy enough. It is basically the same as in Sweden, but when you read files and papers and directions in a language you don't know 100% it is easy to get confused and stressed.
But, I am not a refugee, I am not in NEED of this visa. I just want it. And this is what I keep in mind. The worst thing thatcould happen is that I would have to go back to Sweden. And that is not a danger for my life or my human rights. So I am very aware of that there are kids in Sweden that ran away from terrible things in Eritrea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria etc. that has been waiting 8 months just to get to their first interview at the migrations office. And after that months or maybe years will follow with the process of the asylum application.
So in the end; I will be ok. And I am trying every day to not take that privilege for granted.
Cape Town; See you in 10 days!