Home. A word that conveys a thousand different emotions, a thousand different reactions, with a variety of different meanings.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the word ‘Home’ as:
- (noun) the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household
By that definition home for me currently is nowhere. Currently, I do not have any permanent home, having just moved out from UWC Mostar in Bosnia, but not yet having joined my future host family in Senegal. Luckily for me, home is much more than just physical construction where I live ‘permanently’.
Home for me is anywhere that I have lived for any period of time whether it be 15 years – when I stayed in Dubai with my parents in the same house for that long – or just a mere 14 days at
my brother’s house in Pittsburgh where I stayed prior to Global Launch in Stanford. Home for me is more about the emotion of feeling accepted, of being able to sleep soundly in bed, and of having people that I love around me.
When people ask me “Where’s home for you?,” I stumble because I have too many places that I call home:
- Amaravati. A small town in Central India; the birthplace of my parents, my siblings and myself. The place where as soon as I step in, I get greeted by my beloved family and friends.
- Dubai. The place where I grew up for 15 precious years of my life. The place that taught me the good and the bad sides of life and moulded me into who I am today.
- Mostar. Bosnia & Herzegovina. The place where I found some of my closest friends ever and went though so much as an IB student (shout out UWC kids), that it made me realise who I can become into in the future.
- And the multiple other places I have visited where I have met family or made friends.
And now, awaiting my arrival. Senegal. The Land of Teranga, which means hospitality in Wolof. A decision that I ponder upon for every day that I count down to Global Launch and that I will question every day while in Senegal.
In 8 months’ time, as my stay comes to an end in Senegal, I will revisit this blog to see how my thinking has changed, and whether there’ll be another home added to my list. I hope to make Senegal one of the most important of these homes by making connections that can last much longer than just 8 months with my host community. Furthermore, I hope to make my cohort a part of my ever-increasing family, trusting that we’ll have each other’s backs for the next 8 months, where I pray to god that we have the most wonderful experiences of our lives.
Ndank Ndank moy diap golo ci ñaay