ME AND MY FRIENDS IN ZIM

It was 1997 when I spent my last schoolyear in Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) as an exchange student. I lived with the Doolabh-family who looked after me as if I were their own child. This was the right age and the right place for me. I officially call this the most important year of my life. I stopped biting my nails and started growing my hair. My English was bad but when no-one speaks Dutch, you learn fast. There were no smartphones, mobile data or videocallingapps. Phoning home was expensive. I wrote letters (a lot) and my parents phoned me once in two weeks, mainly for their own peace of mind. I remember I did not suffer from homesickness for a second. That year, I got rich. Those were the days. I still lean on them. I got homesick the day I came back home, to this day, 20 years later. 

As from 2000, life got rough in Zimbabwe. Many left the country. My friends are now living all around the world.  

Femke den Hollander © 2019