Sunday, February 1, 2009

Coming Home

It is amazing how quickly time flies. While I sit here trying to figure out what exactly I want to type on the subject of “Coming Home”, I realized that today is my eight month anniversary. I have lived in Paraguay for eight whole months, and I have loved every second of it. The hours quickly turn into days. The days into weeks, and the next thing you know eight months has gone by. When times flies by so quickly, it is very easy to get wrapped up in the big picture. What was I doing during those hours that escaped me so quickly? Those little hours were what made my week… and those little weeks were what made my month... all of those months will accumulate into 2 years of my life. So, I stopped typing, I took a deep breath, and looked around me. Instantly, I was reminded of all of those hours passed.

When I say “Coming Home”, I am referring to Paraguay. It was amazing to me that it took going home for two weeks, seeing my family and friends, for me to realize how at home I am in here. The weeks leading up to my trip home were a little hard, and all I could do was think about how soon it would before I was home in the States. I actually even wondered if I would go home, see everyone, and not want to come back. Now, this is not to say that I do not love my family and friends and in the States. However, it took me going home with the experiences I have had in this fraction of my time in Paraguay, and the relationships I have built with fellow PCVs and Paraguayans, for me to realize how much I have changed. I love my life in the States. It was wonderful to be able to drive around in a car, and not have to walk everywhere. It was great to not worry about parasites when I drank out of the tap. It was great getting a break from that brutal Paraguayan sun. I missed the food, the people, and the culture. But as soon as I stepped foot in the States, all of those things were just not as important to me. Who would mind having to walk everywhere when you have the beautiful scenery around you that I do? I started to look at the stomach parasites as natures cleanse (ok, maybe that is going to far). That beautiful Paraguayan sun keeps me warm while you all are freezing up there! There is no Chipa, Sopa Paraguaya, or Mbeju in the States… and Paraguay has amazing people and culture too. So I was asked, “I bet you miss Paraguay, don’t you?” And I thought to myself, “Yea, I do.” When I stepped off of the plane my first day back, I thought to myself, “Wow, it’s good to be home.”

As you are reading this you are probably thinking to yourself, “Ok, the girl has gone native and forgotten about us.” That could not be further from the truth. I guess what I am trying to say here is that I have realized that there can exist different sides, or better yet, different versions of you. Neither of which is better or worse than the other. They can exist independently of each other, or not. You can have two, three, four, or however many versions of yourself you like (but not too many, that’s called something else). For me, I loved that D.C. lifestyle: the music, the traffic, the food, the politics… the style. But here, in Paraguay, I discovered another version of me. That version that loves sitting on my neighbor’s front porch, drinking Terere, watching the cows go by. That version that would rather kill bugs with a sandal or her hands than spend the money on bug spray. That version that is proud to have had Pique three times, and Giardia. That Cana drinking, Lomito eating, super tan, jopora speaking version of me that I have found in my new home.

1 comment:

-E said...

Right on girl!! I loved this blog!!! I finally have started accepting my new city as my home- and it took giving up comparing it to D.C. DC is great, but so are other places and you learn you can't compare them to each other. Each is its own place, and each place allows you a chance for self evaluation and discovery. I am so glad you are learning more about yourself and enjoying life in Paraguay! :)