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Kivumu is like home to me
Saturday, 20 April 2013 Written by Maja Sajler Garmaz

Kivumu is like home to meI am so happy to be once again in my beloved Kivumu. It’s my fifth time, and I haven’t and never will grow tired of coming here! I recently commented on how all of us who come here pick up a ‘Kivumu syndrome’ of sorts.

This particular ‘disease’ doesn’t cause pain; it’s not fatal; it’s not even dangerous. But when it gets under your skin, it enters your heart and takes over your mind...

Simply put, the Kivumu syndrome means that this place enchants you and wins you over so much that you always want to come back. And it’s even more interesting to notice that, while you are still here enjoying it to the fullest, you are already starting to think about when you will come back again! You haven’t started your journey home yet, and you’re already thinking about returning here. And that is the ‘dangerous’ Kivumu syndrome.

I am happy, because this fifth visit is, in many ways, special, but I’ll mention only that which is most important: the blessing of the new school building, which we have jointly built. The blessing will mark the completion of construction works on the first building, but it will not mark the end of work itself, because we have the construction of the second building ahead of us as well..

I was truly excited when I came to Kivumu. I was so anxious to see the new school building! This time last year, when Željko and I were here, we marked the beginning of the construction works. Fra Ivica sent us photos of every phase of the construction every week, but nonetheless to see it with my own eyes was really emotional. My heart was beating one hundred miles per hour!

And now Željko is also coming here… This time I arrived in Kivumu without him, but Željko will join us in a day or two. I can’t wait to see the expression on his face when he sees the school. I am sure that he will be overjoyed, just like I was...

I noticed that fra Ivica wrote about a great victory of a small wall in his last article. I too have lived to see a great victory in Kivumu! The children in the village no longer call me ‘muzungu’ (a white person), a word they tend to shout at every stranger that happens to find himself in the village. Now they know my name. They all shout ‘Maja!’ after me. For me that is priceless! Because I feel like I came home.

Translated by Branimir Mlakić
Edited by Valerie Kae Ken

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