The J's - Joel, Joanne and Jesse - piling on before we left Regina.
The J’s – Joel, Joanne and Jesse – piling on before we left Regina.

A few months before we left for Malaysia, our Congolese friend’s five-year-old boy Jesse started randomly asking me “Shaun, where are you going?” during our weekly visits.

At first I thought he was just testing out a new English question he learned at school and was wondering when our weekly visit would end.

But as the weeks went on, he started asking me the same question more and more. And more and more, I began to realize that his parents, Calvin and Jose, had been telling him that we’d be leaving Canada soon and wouldn’t see him for a long time.

Because his English is still very basic, this simple question was all he could ask to learn more about what his parents were telling him – and the only answer that would make him stop asking was when I said “nowhere.”

To say this ripped my heart out is a bit of an understatement. The little bugger had only a dozen English words and he knew exactly how to kick me squarely in the groin with them. Smart kid. He’ll do just fine in Canada.

This just in! Moving away is never easy, (even when you’ve done it before). Yes, living in a new country is fun and exciting, but saying goodbye to your friend’s cute kids or your niece just as she’s starting to walk or your great buds and co-workers, or your dad whose about to run his first marathon, well, it’s tough. In fact, it sucks. Which is why I never actually say goodbye to anyone, just see you later. And, thanks to Skype and email and this blog, I never feel too far away.

So, don’t worry Jesse. I’m not going anywhere – and that goes for the rest of you too.


P.S. The jokes will return next post.