Before I came back to the US, I asked all of the my friends who went home before me, “So? What’s is like? What’s the hardest part about going back?” Everyone had something different to say. I didn’t get a really specific answer that resonated with me so I knew I just had to wait and see.So I’ve been back almost one week. Now I have my answers.
First and foremost, I miss my host family. When I first moved to Ecuador, I never thought I would get used to living with FIVE other nosy family members. I had lived alone for 20 years. In the beginning, the lack of ‘me time ‘really got on my nerves. Now that I’m back I have all of the ‘me time’ that I can possibly use and I don’t want it. I miss hearing people shuffling around, music being played from every room, pots and pans being banged around in the kitchen. I miss people bursting through my door after asking ‘”Puedo?”(Can I?). Living alone seems really … lonely.
Second, I miss my simple life. Since I’ve been back, I’ve bought a car, two major pieces of furniture, and I’m still looking for a couch. I have spent more money in the last few days than I have spent in the last year. It’s crazy. Every time I look at a magazine or go online, I feel a little part of me saying, “Ooooh! I want that”. I DON’T WANT TO FEEL THIS WAY. I lived for one year in a very small space with very little stuff. It was good. So I have to work on my consumer instincts to make sure I don’t lose my ability to live simply. I understand living simply in the USA is really different than living simply in Ecuador but I don’t want to fall into a crazy consumer pattern. We have TOO MUCH here in the good ol’ US of A.
Third, I miss not having to cook. Every day someone else cooked good healthy food for me. IT. WAS. AWESOME. Going to the grocery store and having to think up a meal sucks. It sucks big time. I have to get more creative! I’m going to start using my crock pot recipes. I also don’t want to start getting take out and eating too much again. That would be bad.
Fourth, I miss being forced to speak Spanish. I know, I know. I live in East Boston but that doesn’t mean I am forced to speak Spanish. It just means I hear Spanish. There is a big difference. Soon I will be at school and there will be lots of parents who need help and I’ll feel like I have to use it again. That makes me happy.
On the other hand, there are some pretty sweet things about being here: My family and friends. Hot showers. Drinking water out of the tap. Well made sidewalks. Clean air. The view from my kitchen. Pizza from Santarpio’s. Seeing my students on the train. Awesome neighbors. Speedy internet. This list goes on!
My job hasn’t started yet but it will soon. So I am trying to soak up all of joy that comes at the end of August in Boston. One way I’m trying to keep a little of Ecuador with me is music. I’m playing lots of music I heard while I was in ECU. Here is a little sample:
Welcome, Megan….glad to know you arrived safely and have settled in.
The adjustment is so understandable after your wonderful year in Ecuador and all that has happened in your life.
May you have a peaceful transition….who knows what the future may bring!