Soon after we were asked if we would go to the Philippines for 2 months a friend asked if I was excited to go. “Well, of course I want to go home, but it isn’t like it will all be easy,” I responded.
She asked if it was really home, more than Canada. After all, we’ve lived in Canada for over a year this time around, we have family here, and we have a lot of history here. I wasn’t sure what to reply. In fact, my choice of words surprised me as much as it did her. Since then I’ve thought a bit about it... what made me say that?
The next question was if life is easier there. Easy? Not at all-- I dislike being without electricity and water as much as you do. The extreme heat often wears me out. Nothing is done quickly, which rubs my production-oriented side crazy. Nothing is as predictable as things are in Canada, except the weather which is always hot. And predictable translates to secure in many ways. But can I personally function better in the Philippines than in Canada? Maybe in some ways I know better what’s expected, I’ve learned the parameters of a flight program better than the expectations of home assignment or Garry working remotely on aviation safety.
Really, though, the more I think about it, I think it’s the freedom of knowing that I am expected to be an outsider, a foreigner who is prone to make mistakes. And at some level that role feels familiar. Which makes me laugh simply because among my Canadian friends I am often considered as much an outsider, a foreigner, as I’ve ever been anywhere. So, in the end.... Yes, I am going home, but I’m also leaving home. It’s the joy and the sorrow of our lives.