So here I am in Mount Vernon, Washington preparing for my second attempt at graduation. A few days ago I was in Anaheim, California hanging out with Mickey and Minnie. Days before that I visited Mount St. Helens. Two weeks before that I was roaming around London during my layover. Days before that I was living in a village in Uganda.
People keep asking me to tell them about my summer....honestly, I'm not sure I have the words to describe it.
Coming home felt like reuniting with an old familiar friend. Everything looks the same. Except my dog. He looks fatter, but I think that is because most of the dogs I saw this summer were skin and bone. My house smelled the same. My friends and family still have warm, loving hugs to embrace me. My car drives the same way...once I readjusted to driving on the RIGHT side of the road again. Our currency hasn't changed. American restaurant food still consists of Asian/Mexican/Italian/fast food options on every street. Starbucks has a couple new drinks to choose....
For the most part, nothing dramatic and noticeable has changed in my world.
Everything looks a little funny to me though. My bed. The decorations in my room. My car. My money. My massive closet full of clothes. The traffic lights. The food. The people. The trees. I could keep going, but I think you get the point.
Before I left Uganda, my cousin sent me off with very good advice. He told me that everything would feel different at first; but the only thing that will have really changed is me. I have a new perspective. I have witnessed great pain. I have seen the endangered Silverback Gorillas of the Bwindi forest. I have lived in a village in Africa. I have rafted the Nile River. I have survived swarms of African Ants, mosquitoes, and wasps. I have walked only a few feet beside a herd of Zebras. I have peed and pooped in places I can't even tell my Momma about. I have taught Ugandan people of all ages about health. I have ridden on motorcycles! I have survived many scary boat rides across Lake Victoria. I have co-founded a non-profit organization. I have raised enough funds to start the construction of the dormitory. I have traveled across the globe entirely on my own.
In short: I have started living my life. My God, it feels good!
It was hard for me at first to adjust back into the ease of my life here. The faucet provides me with water that I can actually drink without boiling! I can use my debit card wherever I go. My closet experienced a serious down-sizing when I purged an entire car-full of clothes and things to the Goodwill. I feel like I'm wasting water every time I step into the shower. Cooking food is almost a joke, it really is so easy! I get into my car, drive to the store, shop there, and drive back; twenty minutes later I am sitting back on my rear watching cable television in my air-conditioned home. Amazing.
It takes a lot of energy to not explode from this reverse culture shock, but I think I'm doing alright so far.
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