So I've been back in Houston for 4 days now. While I am incredibly happy to be back home it is harder to adjust to being here than I thought it would be. I was only gone for 4 months so it is not like I have forgotten how to live in the States, but I am having a harder time "falling" back into my old life than expected. Not that I expected everyone to put their lives on hold while I was gone so nothing would change, but it is still surprising to me to hear about everything that I missed. I feel like things are different now, but at the same time the exact same. On Wednesday I went back to work at the church and just sat there for awhile watching everyone around me and realized that nothing had changed (duh... it has only been 4 months).
I feel like I have changed so much while being in Guatemala and it is hard coming back home where everything is the same. It is a weird feeling having gone off and had a life changing experience then come back home and have everyone expect you to be the same as you were before. I wish that everyone here could know exactly what I have been doing in Guatemala and completely understand why I love it so much and how it changed my life forever. I feel like no matter how much I talk to someone about it they really are never going to know everything that has happened. I am still so very grateful that my family was able to come because at least I know the people closest to me have a good understanding of what my life is like in Guatemala.
So on one hand the past few days have been really difficult adjusting to being home and feeling like I'm a different person than I was before I left. However, on the other hand some things have been extremely easy to fall back into. On Wednesday and Thursday afternoon I was at The Refuge with out middle school and high school youth. This was not one of the places I had issues falling back into. It was great getting to catch up with all the youth I have missed so much. On Thursday we had an "Weird Animal Combinations Club" meeting where we came up with and drew weird animal combinations (Duh... it's in the name of the club). A group of sophomore girls and I used to meet almost every Thursday afternoon in the Fall and created this club. Sitting in the booth with these girls laughing uncontrollably at the horrible/amazing drawings is just one of the silly things I have missed so much this spring and am going to miss so much next year. Maybe I can develop a Guatemala branch of this club.
Another group I was eager to meet with is my disciple group of high school girls. We used to meet every Friday morning at 7:00 before school. I sent out invitations from Guatemala saying we were going to meet yesterday morning. Almost everyone in the group came for breakfast at Einsteins and it was beautiful spending that time talking to them about Guatemala and catching up on everything that has happened here this spring. Thursday night 3 of the girls texted me and said that they had just found out that they had dance practice Friday morning at 6:45. However, instead of just saying they couldn't come they asked if I would meet them there at 6:00 instead. How amazing is it that they would want to get up that early just to do our disciple group. This is an amazing group of girls and I am really excited to spend the summer with them. They have no idea how much I have been missing them and our Friday morning bagel dates.
Here are a few things that have been going on since I've been home...
- I've had Mexican food 3 times. While I hate Guatemalan food I have really missed tex-mex.
- My dog tackled me in the street when I got home.
- My cat ignored me for the first 2 days until she realized I wasn't going to abandon her again. If you're hanging out with her please don't tell her about August.
- I keep forgetting it's ok to flush toilet paper here. This makes more sense if you know you can't in Guatemala. You have to put it in the trash can.
- I have become really price conscious about everything.
- I have twice walked through the produce section of a store and been really shocked by prices. Once you have bought an entire backpack full of fruits and veggies for $3.50 it's hard to go back to HEB prices.
- I have laughed more in the past 4 days than I thought was possible.
- I bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in Spanish.
- I drove away from Barnes and Noble laughing at the idea of me trying to read it in Spanish.
- I am trying to move everything from my apartment into my room at my parent's house.
- You can't see the floor of my room.
- I have cried twice while feeling really overwhelmed being back.
- I have said "cuánto cuesta por todos" about 5 times to people in stores who just stare at me like I'm an idiot.
- Twice I have walked downstairs to the kitchen to get pure water before I realize I could just brush my teeth with faucet water.
- The girl who cut my hair today 3 times referred to Guatemala as Guacamole. Twice she didn't catch herself and just kept on talking.
Tomorrow morning I am teaching the Bridgebuilder's Sunday School class in the morning. Fun fact about me: I HATE TALKING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. I always sound like I am about to start crying and talk extremely fast. Hopefully it will go better than I am expecting. After my grandfather introduces me I am planning on speaking for about 5 minutes then showing a 6 minute slideshow/video about Guatemala. A major reason why I am teaching different Sunday School classes this summer is that I have to ask for donations which makes me incredibly uncomfortable. Again hoping it goes much better than I am expecting.
Wish me luck...