They came in all colours and styles. I begged them that is was enough. It was too much. I've been showered with gifts. I wanted to ask them if this was their goodbye to me.
One was a Moroccan style gown - it has a pointy hood, and long sharp sleeves. It was glittery and as I put in on, they all smiled happily. I smiled back, though on returning to my room, I tried to control my giggles, as I caught my reflection in the mirror.
When I wore the hood, I ended up looking like a golden-robed member of the Ku Klux Klan.
That day involved me walking back and forth from my room to the living room, each time trying on another new item of clothes, which always had the aroma of the market ingrained into the fabric (the market smell is musky and woody, very earthy and very suffocating).
They cooed and clucked, as I swirled on their demand, and tripped on my way out.
The swirling adding to my dizziness and to the feeling that I was in a dream, all the voices merging into something unintelligible.
Their eyes shiny bright, as they talked about how university days are the best.
(Coincidentally, none of them have actually gone to university, as tradition and culture had tied them down to family and children from a young age.)
They asked me if I wanted to go walking around the area one last time, though the use of 'for the last time' sounded so omnious, that I couldn't help feel a little sad.
There's so many things that I wanted to tell everyone, but I just didn't know how to frankly. For the written word is so much easier to organise than what your lips mumble.
I wanted to tell them I still didn't agree with so many things because it didn't make sense, I wanted to tell them that I had always fought for my independence, but after a few incidents, i completely understood the importance of having a male with you.
I wanted to tell them I couldn't help smiling and laughing so much, and so the list goes on.
Instead they were the ones to tell me what they wanted, while I listened and nodded in agreement to their wise advice...
"keep social life to a minimum, you are going to study"
"Learn not to be so nice, otherwise people will use you, and you'll fail your studies and your life"
"Look after yourself, yourself and yourself, remember to buy lots of dettol and clean too..."
" Enjoy yourself, live and love everything, but don't go out after dark" (babati it gets dark at like 3pm! i replied...and so he replied...yes, well try not to walk in the dark alleys)
"call us if you need anything, although we'll try to call you everyday"
Was this the inevitable end that I have been trying to avoid for the past few months?
I admit it, I am quite literally a coward at many times, and I shall not pretend I am otherwise.
This is actually one post that I am having difficulty writing, and it would probably be easier to type up what happened over summer, stuff about culture etc, but I feel this post is a lot more cathartic.
I have successfully managed to confuse myself anyway in writing, but that is perhaps from lack of sleep and travel tiredness.
One day I'm going to look back and think what was I panicking over, but right now, I'll just panic quietly through the medium of writing and breathing uneasily...