October 18, 2009

Safely arrived home... Time to adjust!

Amigos y familia,

Greetings from my cozy home in Salem, Oregon!

(( Espanol: Pegar este texto en y encontrarias una traduccion ma o menos suficiente para comprender. Abrazos! ))

I safely arrived home on October 13. I went directly from being stung by an electric eel in the jungle of Ecuador to ummmm a rather uneventful home in the US. Culture shock is strong. I am confused and overwhelmed by the immense waste in all aspects of our lives. I do not know how to process all the giant white people; I am used to peering over the heads of all the short tan people! I miss their good manners and graciousness. Americans are unconscious of how abrupt and judgmental we allow ourselves to be. Road rules. They exist here, and people follow them. Note to self. And where is all the rice and plantains??? I need my arroz y platanos!

All said and done, I am emotionally rather unpredictable. I saw Mt. Hood for the first time and burst into tears. “That’s my mountain!” I thought, remembering all the times I gazed at Cotopaxi in Ecuador and longed for familiarity. And today I saw a collage of photographs of all the relatives on my mom Margo’s side of the family. I froze, overwhelmed, and silently began to cry as I scanned their faces. I hope we celebrate Christmas together this year.

It is good to be home. My patience is deep (I had no control over many aspects of slow life in Ecuador.) I enjoy doing the dishes (ok, I no longer curl my toes at the thought.) I always fold my clothing six times (this way it fit on my handmade shelves in Ecuador.) And I have no appreciation for canned and frozen processed foods (we ate home cooked meals all day every day.)

I started in on my new "job" right away - I am blessed to have the opportunity to care for my grandparents. My grandma Teresa has dementia and needs a bit of help. And my grandpa Dick, who has always done wonderfully with Grandma, recently had a knee surgery and also needs assistance. I will be with them Sunday evening to Friday evening with two short breaks during the week. That’s right, folks, my 110 hour workweek begins only days after returning home tanned from the Ecuadorian jungle. Here’s to a new adventure of measuring Grandma’s milk, helping with knee rehab exercises, and thankfully recouping a bit of finances spent wandering Ecuador.

I have only written about a third of the adventures I experienced. My strategy is to spend a bit of time each day writing and editing photographs. You will likely hear more adventures after my trip than during! Keep posted on the blog.

See you SOON! I look forward to telling adventurous, boring, happy, and painful tales!

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