I was born and grew up in Congo-Brazzaville, a country located in Central Africa. It has been three years since I have left my country in difficult conditions. I had to move for safety reasons and, I am currently living peacefully in the United States.

I always remember that day of October 24, 2015 standing at the airport reading the letter from my father who was in jail saying that “Son, I don’t know and I am not sure we will see each again but go, be blessed and always think about us.”

All along my trip I was deeply depressed, hopeless and travelled with tears in my eyes.

Now, thinking about heading home leaves on my face a gorgeous smile. After many years of absence, away from my family, this would be a very emotional moment based on all the experiences that I went through when I was home.

I would be looking forward to seeing all the changes that happened while I was away. Where are my friends now in life? How would they have changed? What jobs would they have? New hobbies? My church? New relationships? What would the city be like? I would be imagining a world of possibility.

Life at home is very pleasant, natural and wonderful. Stepping again in my motherland would be like being in the soft hands of a lovely mother.

I would love to revive the beautiful moments with my family that I have missed and also friends, environment and the local food and life in the neighborhood.

Belonging to an extended African poor family where you are the breadwinner and remedy of everyone as is my case, living abroad is like being a missionary, I am conditioned to support them financially. Despite all the negative daily realities, home means peace, joy, happiness, smiles and laughter.

There are phrases and words and even circumstances that are typically African so, being again around friends and family would be just so refreshing. At home, people just seem to socialize: no booking ahead. Thanks to the big heart of my home country, I am what I am today.

Meetinghouse is a community storytelling project hosted by the Maine Sunday Telegram.

Read more stories from Maine at www.centralmaine.com/meetinghouse

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