I’m sure you have heard the phrase “home is where your heart is”, but what if you can’t really decide where your heart is? Or perhaps it is not set in one single place, but rather scattered around in two or more special places as in my case I’m afraid ?
As many of you know, I am from Finland but live in Namibia with my family of three (+4 pets!). Me and my husband consider ourselves extremely blessed to have these two opposite worlds’, winter and summer, snow and desert, and of course my favourite places on earth, forest and bush.
I realise this is really not a problem at all, just something I’d like to share. After a long Christmas vacation in Finland I felt a bit odd when returning to Namibia. I really love Namibia and consider it home, but at the same time I wasn’t sure how I felt about returning.
In addition, I can’t help to think, now that we have a daughter, where will she grow up, (where are we going to settle,) which country will be more familiar for her, and most of all, will she consider both of the countries home or just another one?
We as parents of course would like her to know both countries and love them equally, despite where we live. Therefore we do our best to make sure she speaks our languages, hears stories and visits as often as possible. Perhaps even more important is to consider the culture that is on the background, and try to emphasize that culture.
My solution for now is to bring a piece of Finland with me here, for instance some Finnish chocolates and sauna drops along with a sauna stove! For us Finns sauna is just as important as braai (bbq) is for the Afrikaans culture. If I would live in Finland, I’m certain I would miss Namibia equally. But how to bring the smell and sounds of the bush, that’s really something to ponder about! Even camping, which we love, would be totally different in Finland!
Speaking of the smell and sounds, I have been caught by my husband smelling the fresh wood planks in the hardware store. I think he must have felt really sorry for his wife who happily, eyes closed imagined a Finnish forest!
If you are in the same situation, how do you cope? Do you think it is our destiny, as well as being blessed, to always be a little in between the two worlds?