This past weekend was exactly what I needed. Short breaks from London are sometimes my way of caring for myself. Being an Academic, working, writing, dealing with the madness of London; having to rush every morning and evening with little time to truly reflect on day to day things is hard.
Weekend madness with the family and my sister friend, Mirella, in Germany brought joy, laughter, (new) memories, and pride. Coming from a conflict country, families are usually torn apart, divided by borders, the diaspora became our new home. A new home where we honored culture, heritage, family and connections we kept alive through our memories.
Thursday morning, leaving London early in the morning to get as much out of the day as possible. We arrive at my uncle’s in small town near Cologne, and the contrast is so palpable. The fresh air, all the preserved green spaces on our way to this small town. I think I enjoyed it so much because Mirella was so pleasantly surprised. I’ve lived in London for four years, and one thing I keep saying is how different the quality of life is, and she could finally see what I meant. We had breakfast, went for a walk outside and ended up on a playground. Relieving those missed childhood moments.
Celebrating is a way to acknowledge life, to be thankful for all you have overcome to be able to say, you persevered. Even in the darkest of days, a celebration reminds us of moments that matter most, and the people sharing these moments with you. My aunt celebrating her 50th birthday with family was amazing.
Cooking with the family, prepping for the party, sightseeing in Cologne and seeing family and friends enjoy is memory you always cherish. Sunday night when we got back to London, we still wanted to enjoy this warm diaspora feeling, this mixture of scent, food, color, music and joy. So the next day, we headed to Africa at Spitafields to indulge a little bit longer in that feeling of being “connected” to others.
Different stalls with a variety of food, fresh juices and shakes and of course fashion and entertainment were a true treat on a bank holiday where the sun was playing a bit of hide-and-seek.
Whenever you can reconnect with your people, with home, embrace it, find your escape and indulge in the moment.
Celebrating Life the Angolan way