I've been through a few break-ups in my life, but saying goodbye to South Africa feels like the worst one of them all. It's a lump in my throat when I wake up in the morning, the echo of my bare walls and empty closet, the pain in my heart when I go through my photos to pick a couple to print for the people I love. It's tight hugs from the boys at St. Theresa's, one last bunny chow with our feet in the Indian Ocean in Durban, handmade cards from the learners at St. Leo's who, in January, couldn't speak a lick of English. It's that inevitable knot in the pit of my stomach on the final drive to St. Theresa's, St. Leo's, Gogo Gloria's house, church in Kloof, passing the Siyakwamukela eThekwini sign on the drive into Durban.
Pinky, in Grade 4, said it best. "Saying hello is so easy! But goodbye? Goodbye is very hard, Miss Sinead."
South Africa has shown me just how much love my heart is capable of... but there is no doubt that I will be leaving a large piece of it here when I go.