Here in London, your friends become your family like you had never imagined. Your family are so far away that your friends take the role on, just as you do for them...for you share a mutual understanding of how it feels to be miles from home. How it feels when there are big moments, being them of elation or devastation.
I've spent the past week at home sick, and ive had daily calls from my flat mates to check up on me, soup prepared for me and hot lemon drinks on tap. And its not just what they do, its that they genuinely care. They are genuinely worried and would move heaven and earth to make sure you are okay and being looked after. Its heart warming stuff, it really is.
And when there are big goings on going on back home, our big family of Kiwis here in London really pull together. Take the memorial service for the Christchurch Earthquake. Organised by a few kiwis to give another few kiwis somewhere to grieve and be together. How shocked were they when thousands and thousands attended the service. The church seats were full, the aisles were full with people standing and outside they broadcast the ceremony on loud speakers so the thousands of people rugged up in the cold could also be a part.
The Rugby World Cup. Strangers decked in black become your best friends as embraces are exchanged. People dance, people sing, together in complete elation over the win of the cup, finally! Had we lost. Well one doesnt like to think of this, but however we dealt with it...you know we would have dealt with it together.
For people mean everything. And its realised at home but I think its realised even more so when you are in a home which has not always been your home. An unfamiliar place becomes somewhere we are happy, and enjoy because of the people who care about us around us. Be these are flatmates, our friends, or the strangers who understand....its people that mke all the difference in our home away from home.