Chido Murambiwa, Grade 12
UWC Waterford Kamhlaba
An advantage is the best word to use. Although I’m not home everything feels slightly familiar and working around the place was not always the worst. The worst time, I’d say was when I was fresh at school. Most parents stayed in the country for a few days and visited every day but my dad hugged me and took the lock to my suitcase with him. It was not the most exciting situation to be in. I believed my roommate had a deep hatred for me and I would spend my time here alone. The next day, I was late to orientation because they had to smash my suitcase lock. The first time we went to town, I had a strong feeling I’d projectile vomit on the IB2 that was giving us a tour guide. Luckily my mother was a Bantu language-speaking person and I was able to decipher what people were saying but mostly struggled, being black automatically meant that I was from Eswatini to most people…and I cannot speak Siswati for the life of me. Although I’m now familiar with greetings and how to address elders and other people. In the beginning, having to greet the servers at the breakfast counter felt like a death sentence. The elders in Eswatini luckily were similar to the Elders in Zimbabwe. It helped to be able to decode what they were saying when they said ‘for someone your age, maybe cutting down on the food could help feed someone else’. I think most children in the region are used to elders grilling every fibre of their being so I was immune to every comment they threw at me. Exchange rates were another thing that baffled me, the emigrating worthy inflation in my country in comparison to the prices in Eswatini threw me off guard in a good way. I was so used to blasphemous pricing in my country, the stationary here was sold at (equivalent to $0.50) instead of ($10.00) which was shocking. The weather was absolutely unadjustable. Zimbabwe (in the region I live in) is mostly warm or hot so when I arrived to hail storms day in and day out I nearly packed up and left. Besides all this, I have moments when I physically crave being somewhere not familiar but somewhere I know. I have days where miss being home so much, that it feels unbearable. They are days that I feel scared that I know no one in this country besides the people on the mountain. At first, it was exciting but missing someone hurts. There are so many hard moments when living in a foreign country no matter how close it is to home. At the end of the day, it is different. I think what’s made it easier as unbearably corny as this might sound are the people who’ve become my family. Like Lilo said Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind of forgotten.