I am back in the land of coconut trees and turquoise water.
I am back to living with rats, walking around barefoot most of the time, and listening to a language that is not the one I grew up learning.
And I love it. I love you so stinkin' much Tonga.
It's 7:30am on Sunday morning and lots of rain is coming down outside.
I love the rain, especially when I rely on it for drinking water.
Thank you Water Gods for filling up my sima vai (water tank). If I could high five you I would. Seriously.
I knew that coming back here I'd feel a plethora of emotions.
I expected the transition back to be a tricky one. And by tricky, I fully expected it to be really really hard.
Which makes sense since 99% of the things and people I love in this life were compacted into the last 22 days. So much goodness that it all feels very much like a dream. The best possible dream. Is there an opposite to a nightmare? Because that's what I have experienced the last month or so.
And even though I did not arrive back with my luggage and I touched down in a rainstorm in a plane that I'm not exactly sure should still be operating (but who am I to judge? I hold no aviation certification, but based on the fact that duct tape was used to hold some parts of the plane together one can only question), I'm one happy girl.
So this blog has been a little quiet and I thought that I would share with some of my favorite moments from the last 3 weeks. In no particular order:
1. Reunions. When my flight touched down in Denver, CO on June 22nd I expected to only see my sister waiting for me. It was 11pm on a Saturday night. But instead, my best friend and her crush cutie were there too. Complete with a big obnoxious sign, Disney princess balloons and noise makers. They made quite the scene. I'll never forget it.
2. Seeing the family. I love my family to bits - they are pretty rockin' people and the week before Molly got married I got to spend a lot of time with them, hanging out, throwing impromptu dance parties and enjoying each other's company.
|Drak standing up in the wedding.|
|Chattin' it up at the wedding rehearsal.|
3. Watching Molly marry her crush cutie. I love my new brother (I refuse to call him brother-in-law... takes too long to say and to me it shows an element of separateness and Josh is now part of the family) and I was really excited to welcome him into the family.
|Almost ready to walk down the aisle!|
4. Meeting new friends. Very rarely do I meet people and become immediately comfortable around them. I'm sure it's my fault. I put up walls and really dislike pushing through the artificial small talk that leads you to the deep and juicy goodness found when you know somebody really well, but I made a new friend while I was in the states. That comfort, straight-forwardness and honesty was there immediately and it was really neat that we crossed paths. Plus my face muscles hurt from laughing so much. And now I have a new pen pal. A win-win situation.
5. Seeing old friends. Friendships come in many shapes and sizes and one of my favorite things about my friends back home is that no matter how much time has passed when we get together it's like no time has passed at all. Some of the friends I was able to catch up with when I was home are friends that I have known since I was 5! Whether it was a drink at cool pub in Denver, lunch at a tiny diner, bbq in the humid Wisconsin summer,... it was so good to reconnect.
6. Getting to hang out with babies. I'm at that age where some of my friends are still single like me, some are engaged, many are married and some have started creating families of their own. It's so neat getting to meet the children of my friend's... it's really amazing to see little people that look like the people you love.
|Oliver being adorable.|
7. Visiting the grandparents. I had the opportunity to drive up to Door County, Wisconsin for a quick day trip with the 'rents. We hung out with my grandparents, ate trip (a type of sausage, almost like a bratwurst, that is made with cabbage), and hung out in nature with aunts, uncles and cousins. Sweet deal.
8. Eating amazing food. Mmmmm.... salads. Kale. Mixed greens. So much green! I ate as many leafy greens as I could fit in my face while I was in America. Me and Vitamin B12 were best friends for 3 whole weeks.
9. Dry weather. One of the many many reasons I love living in Colorado (when I'm not in Peace Corps) so much is the weather. It can be 100 degrees in Colorado and I'd be loving it because of the low levels of humidity. Humidity makes me look like a bloated red tomato. And not the perfect ripe kind. Not good.
10. Skypes. I was able to take part in multiple Skype sessions at home and with the licky-split quickness of the interwebs Stateside it almost felt as if each one of my friends was right in the room with me. Such a good feeling. I'm still missing camp like wo, but it was amazing to get to Skype with my camp family since I wasn't able to make it to Maine on this trip.