It was helpful to have that welcome-back party, to have that brief time to talk about the struggle we have been facing and will continue to face as we return to a place that isn't quite the home we left. If nothing, it gave me the heads-up to what will come (that hadn't already), as I had arrived in the States two days prior to the talking. Through no fault of their own save not knowing any better, people can try to put the experience of Peru, of service, into a box, label it as a discrete experience that has been had, that is now over, and the box can go on a shelf like a trophy. I know that I'm prone to do it myself with any number of events that happen to ME, so yeah.
It's been a nice lesson realizing that...well, the experience isn't over. It's here, it's with me, in my memories of the jokes, in my blundering between Spanish and English and Spanglish, in things not feeling quite right when I come back to a place of less simplicity. At the moment, my heart is in Peru because that's where my love is, but in another equally important way, my heart always belonged in its mountains, in the Andean music, in my visions of flying above and in its canyons. My soul belongs amidst its language, in the warmth, its subtleties, and its simplicity. The being away, the rediscovery and reiteration of what's important to me, the chance to process in a different environment, gives me new perspective regarding everything from houses to the past. It is there, and it is a part of me, and I regret not telling anybody all of that when they ask me how Peru was. Though really, that's not what Peru was like; it's what the experience of doing service and living in Peru IS and still affects me even after I no longer physically live there nor do direct service.
Being here, a year and a half removed from people at college, at home, family and friends...Knowing what I know, seeing what I see...how is it that it changes the past? Clearly events still happened, but with new perspective, new insight, all of a sudden the context is more fully seen. Hindsight, I guess, is the common name for it. In this instance, I guess it makes my path ahead clearer.
I guess I have less to say than I thought. Regardless, there you have it.