I was recently speaking with a Trinidadian returnee who has been away from Trinidad ever since he was a teenager.
I tried to explain -- "You are no longer Trinidadian."
I didn't mean that they had lost the essence of who they were. Instead, I tried to describe the fact that the time spent away had made them more than Trinidadian, and more like a "Trini plus."
The same goes for a Jamaican who has lived abroad, and returns home.
The Jamaican who denies that they are different, ends up suffering by not taking care of the part of them that is very, very different. To make the mistake of not nurturing that part of them is to make a mistake.
While they are back home, I think it is essential that they:
-- always know when they are returning to the country they left before coming home.
-- find the channels to receive some of their creature comforts -- clothes, food, news, books, movies, etc.
-- "recharge their cylinders" while they are away -- a vacation from Jamaica is usually taken in a place that is more reliable, structures and has less crime
-- look for outside, spiritual and mental boosters
-- re-connect with friends
-- link with returnees who can understand what they left behind, and what it is like to be a returnee
It is important that a returnee be responsible for who they have become, and these ways represent a start. They are very different from their friends