In my October 2012 blog, titled Milestone Plans, I wrote about doing something stupendous for my birthday this year, either celebrating with my childhood friend Joan (same age) over in England where she now lives (with maybe a longer trip to Scotland), or tooling around the States with Jake and Fergie in a rented teardrop trailer. The latter is out, those cute little teardrops are way too expensive to buy and to rent (as is gas). England is still a probability, but I did that last year. I want to go somewhere different this year, somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit, somewhere I haven’t been before. Somewhere totally unexpected. So I’ve been thinking and thinking and thinking . . . road trip up the East Coast starting in Savannah, Georgia? Portugal? Japan? Stick a pin in the map of the world? (Lest you think I have bags of money, I don’t. I dream big and sometimes I can make them come true.)
And then today a preposterous idea hit me, hit me hard. A trip home to Nkana/Kitwe, Zambia (now just called Kitwe). Why preposterous? Because for one thing, I couldn’t wait to get out of there, plus, as everyone knows, you can never go home, especially after you’ve seen all the changes that have taken place in photos on Facebook’s Kitwe site. It would kill me to see all the neglect and deterioration: once tarred roads, now potholed or mostly dirt, buildings in ruin, as well as some of the houses because the poor African occupants can’t afford to keep them up. No thriving copper mining company to subsidize, like it did for us. And it’s not like my parents still live there. They died many years ago.
So, why, you ask, am I entertaining the idea of going back? I’m not exactly sure. But it is unexpected, you must admit. Perhaps, it’s something I need to do to come full circle with that part of my life. Perhaps I can persuade my eldest son, who was born there, to join me. And Joan. She’s been back countless times. She loves the place. And Donna, too, of course. That’s if they can make it. But if not, perhaps I’ll go alone. Perhaps that’s part of closing the circle. More on my still-forming plans, tomorrow.