After a year in Europe


Afrikaner reporting in.

I’ve lived in Europe now for a year and a few months. Before I came some people would tell me that this is where I would feel like I belong.

They could not have been more wrong. This has been a year of with a big culture shock, a year of loneliness and a year of not feeling at home or at peace. I will finally be going home next week. And I can’t wait!

I long for the warmth of our people. The children playing in the streets. I miss the open fires, the Ugali, braaipap, wild meat, dust on my feet. The cold nights and barrel fires to keep warm, the birds chirping every morning at dawn. I miss the blue of our mid day skies, the never ending horizon of the great karoo, the lush east coast and its vast glimmering sands. I miss the fish eagles calling at a nearby dam, the owls hoo-hoo at dusk. The deep darkness of night, Andromeda and Orion Nebula.

I miss the whistles, the smarts, taxis and the petrol station chief. I miss the cars passing on the highways late at night, where are they going, I hope they are alright. I miss the ambition, the want for a greater life, where progress is fought for and freedom our might. I miss the laughter, the tears, the whispers, the greeting calls across the street.

I miss the markets, the fresh food, weighing by the cup. The babies tied on the back, produce balanced on head. I miss all those who work hard each day to help those underfed.

I miss the early morning single cabs with a phalanx of rods reading to cast. The donkey carts, the suspicious GTi. I miss the waving bikers, the land rovers, the arm signals.

I miss rooibos tea, early mornings playing with my dog. I miss the persistent mosquitoes, the sweaty summer nights. I miss the vuvuzela, singing Shosholoza, saving for labola. I miss the gatsby, the toothless capie vloek. I miss riding on my bike paying my respect to the corners in Franschhoek.
I miss the spirit of adventure. I miss the camping, drinking from the fresh mountain spring, where you are never certain what tomorrow will bring.

But I miss the people the most. Every set of eyes, a story to tell, a connection to make. A warmth that would melt the deep European snow. All participating in the great African theater. Where there are as many nationalities, but one common spirit and identity that brings us together. It’s not the colour of our skins, nor the language we speak. Its the simplicity, bedding our knees, putting down our hands and knowing this land is where we belong. I long for that, I long for my land, my home.

Africa I see you soon.


Wow! I love your writing. This piece for the exquisite imagery it invokes. We all miss everything from Mama Africa, we all belongs to Africa.