Our International Programme Manager Louise recently wrote an article for the Lay Mission Union of Ireland’s quarterly newsletter. In it, she bares all about her experiences dealing with re-entry into European life after 5 years living in Uganda.
I’m a big advocate for ‘good’ re-entry. For making the absolute best of the transition between your overseas home and your ‘home’ home. Why? Because mine was a complete and utter train wreck. A debacle. A clustermess. Thankfully, I can look back from my slightly more ordered life and see how I went wrong, and hopefully steer others in a rather less disastrous direction! Here is my story: how to do re-entry badly.
I had a wonderful life in Uganda. 5 years is long enough to almost fully adapt, to no longer feel like an outsider and have a fully functioning normal life. I had a group of friends who gave me energy, who loved me and spent innumerable nights in watching movies (if the power was on) and eating pizza. I loved my job (mentor for young women) and my studies (counselling). I had met and married a fellow missionary and we had a puppy, two cats and a sweet little house. I never wanted to leave.
What’s the best thing to do when you don’t want to do something? Don’t think about it. Right?
The time came when God said, “Go”. Helpfully, logic (and husband) also said it was time to go. But my heart said, “Absolutely not”. So naturally I refused to believe it was happening. The thing I regret most was telling nobody, so some of my best friends only found out I was leaving about a week before our flight. The most stupid thing I did was to make no plans for our new life together in Ireland. I buried my fear, anxiety and self-doubt, stuck my fingers in my ears and went, “La, la, la, not happening, nope!”