Before I can say hello to Gaborone, I need to say goodbye to Seattle. I've lived in the Tacoma/Seattle area since I was three years old, and in Seattle for the last 10 years. Seattle has it's own personality that manages to mix a casual nature loving comfort with a fast work pace and a reverence for privacy and boundaries. We wear jeans everywhere, call our colleagues (even those with Ph.Ds and 40 years of experience) by their first names and hike and kayak while eating organic trail mix. Seattle has a long list of attributes that I will miss including a bevy of fun-loving intelligent mission driven people, a music scene that draws great musicians - no Bumbershoot for me this year - and easy access to nature with in-city hikes, beaches and large parks.
The top three things I will miss about Seattle are:
My family; the incomparable Lynitra Jackson - mother, teacher and minister who deserves awards and honors for her integrity, loves me incessantly, tries to protect me from dangers real and imagined and has quite a few eccentricities; my sister Sarah Jackson, bold, intelligent, talented tweener who keeps me on my toes with her unflagging belief that I am fabulous and challenges me with her innocent questions and expectations of a just and beautiful world; a handful of aunts and uncles including my Aunt Pat who I've become really close with in the last few years, a boat load of cousins and a growing number of their progeny, and last but not least my grantdma Lotye Jackson, I find myself sounding just like her when cooing at babies and when telling people off,
The convenience -yes I slightly dread running into highschool classmates at the grocery store, but one of the benefits of being in the same area for two decades is I know where everhting is. I know the best consignment shops and where to get a vegan buffet lunch or a great mojito., I know the best route to take to get from North Seattle to Renton based on the time of day, weather and wind speed. I love my dy cleaner, masseuse, nutritionist and physical therapist and they are rather fond of me. Although Gabarone will undoubtedly have aspects that I'll love nothing is ever as convenient as your hometown.
The weather - just kidding- I will not miss the rainy, cloudy gray Seattle weather at all. I need sun and vitamin D and this is definitely not the place for either of those necessities. You could wear sweaters in Seattle all year long, It's summer and I wore a sweater twice in the last week, it rained on the 4th of July and not the summer rain that many places get, where the rain is a welcome break to the sweltering heat - it was cold and gray all day and then it rained. It's winter in Botswana right now and their temperatures are in the high 50s to low 70s, basically the same temperature we've had all summer here in Seattle. Even when the sun is shining in Seattle, we're so far north that most people can not get enough vitamin D. It's just not right.
Seattle is a wonderful place but it's time to try warmer, drier, brighter pastures and learn what I will love in Gaborone.