Travel: The Netherlands, Leeuwarden

When I came from Africa at the age of seven, my innocent mind was filled with all kinds of fantasies about what Europe looked like. Some of them were from the movies I use to watch at my neighbors, and some were created by the stories that were going around in a small town called Lungi, Sierra Leone. I remember being so excited! And the moment I stepped my feet in The Netherlands, Leeuwarden, I was utterly disappointed.

I am pretty sure you can already guess why I was so disappointed. Lungi is a village that is/maybe was ( since I haven’t been back there for quite a long time), filled with green, and bearly build. Leeuwarden is known for its beautiful nature, it was one of the things I enjoyed so much after I went back two weeks ago. But as seven years old, I wanted the snow, which I’ve never experienced before, I wanted the huge city and the many lights…

Before this time, I’ve been back twice I believe. The only time I remember is for the wedding of my brother. This beautiful little city is the place where my pains and sorrows started and matured into traumas. So, whenever I thought of it, it wasn’t necessarily a good memory.

I feel like something changed during this trip. My traumas didn’t disappear, but rather, I was able to see the city through different eyes.

Hmm… I am not sure how to explain it, but all I know is that, as I was showing my fiancé the primary school, and secondary school I went to, and the houses of my friends back then, my neighborhood, playgrounds etc. the good memories came to the surface of my heart. I can’t help but connect this change with Christ. I remember before I became a born again Christian, I viewed the world through a very dark glass. All I saw was pain, hurt, trauma, wickedness… because this was the reality I was living in. After being born again as a Christian, that darkness lifted and replaced with love, joy, and hope. So, during this trip, I was able to see the beauty of the city. The culture, the people, the language, the nature, and my good memories of this city, which I feel really greatful for. Glory to God!

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