Sunday, January 6, 2013

Muchness

My first-world time has ended and it seems appropriate to reflect, no?  It was strange to come back to America, to drive a car and flush toilet paper.  To have soft, good-smelling skin.  To be in a place where everyone has so much material everything.  Where there is an overwhelming selection of all natural hippie deodorants at Whole Foods.  Where something like Whole Foods even exists.  

It was wonderful.  There was more delicious and healthy food than I could possibly fit in my stomach.  I'd sing songs to my food as I prepared it.  Most of the lyrics were things like "goooat cheeese and wiiiiiinnneee."  I marveled at the hot shower, microwave, and washing machine.  I spent time exclusively with people I love and have known for years.  I felt so loved and grateful for all the wonderful folks in my life.  And there was some snow!

I got lots of questions from lots of people. Some were the usual, others were surprisingly insightful.  Most were centered on my lifestyle, which is what seems like the most difficult part to the majority of folks living in America.  It made me realize how little it contributes to the difficulties of the Peace Corps.  Humans are incredibly adaptable, you get used to anything.  It's not that hard to boil water, wash clothes by hand , and live without heat.  The hard parts are the work and loneliness.

I have to put in an incredible amount of energy and time for the tiniest scooch forward on my projects.  It's so much mental and physical work and dealing with cultural differences that make Peruvians seem unprofessional to American eyes. It's so hard, especially when you just want to help.  

I am also alone a lot.  There can be some sad times, but I have wonderful PC friends and my host family is the best, despite the occasional conflicts that any real family has.  

It was a blessing to go home and see everyone I love and who loves me.  Despite my complaining in my last post, I can't imagine anyone being richer.  Thank you everyone that took time to see me, talk with me on the phone, or Skype.  I had a great time, all the time.  Mom, Dad, Joz, Don, Casey, Lucho, Uncle Jim, Uncle Paul, Aunt Kristi, Aunt Mary, Dennis, Ryan, Heather, Charlotte, Betsy, Mason, Alex, Vickie, Jill, and anyone I've thoughtlessly forgotten at the moment, thank you for making my Christmas vacation better and giving me something to look forward to when I get home.

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