The emotional rollercoaster continues. I wonder, at 18 months in-country, where I am on “the VSO scale”? (a big U shaped diagram that charts how VSOs tend to feel as we plan, arrive and live our placements in a foreign land).
T made me float on air. “It feels too good to be true” I pinched myself.
Then, a few weeks after our affair started, followed the excitement of travelling back home and reconnecting with everyone.
T had Malaria, but when this didn’t subside after two weeks, he was diagnosed with Typhoid.
The World Cup was on TV and T’s eyes were glued to it. He only had eyes for me to start with and now he walks in the house and immediately switches the TV on.
Weeks of insecurity followed. But were they all down to me?
One morning he announces that Louisa is playing up and he needs to spend more time with her. What room is there in his life for me? I don’t complain, how can I deny an 11 year old her father? (Even though he on the other hand had trouble admitting he had two children).
A few days later and I ask how she is. “She’s ok,” he says. I’m worried and all I get is two words in return.
A month later – I now have a much more thorough knowledge of the Ugandan TV schedule – he says he had to take his mother to hospital. She has a heart problem. T looks worried.
Next time I see him I ask him how his mum is. “She’s ok,” he says. I’m worried and all I get is two words in return.
I go to kiss him and he shies away. One time he even physically smarts and frowns, as if I’ve hit him. His fevers and mood swings have subsided but what’s left?
I’ve been feeling homesick. It took 18 months. Or did it take a man? I’m even thinking about going home after my placement. And asking myself how I’ll manage here until then.