Saturday, July 7, 2012

Homesickness Really Bites

      After posting my pictures for the blog this week, I thought I would mention some things about homesickness. Everyone seems to have some great stories and photos about all of the fun we are having. I am truly having an awesome time myself, and I actually adjusted quite easily. The buses are a breeze in Floripa compared to the transportation I have experienced in NY and Chicago. Samantha and I were very lucky to have such a beautiful pousada in a great, relatively inexpensive place (first Guatemala at Heifer, now here!) I honestly have felt a complete lack of culture shock which has surprised me more than anyone. I have knocked so many things off my bucket list here and have been so busy having fun that it is ridiculous. I looked back at the journal I have been keeping, and there is really just an air of simplicity about life here. I go to the lab, I come home, I hang out with people--my life outside of MHIRT is so much more work and stress! But I really, really, REALLY want my hectic, stressful, headache of a life back now.
      I don't know about anyone else, but when I'm not working or out with my friends, there is this really sad feeling I get. It happens when I am going to bed at night, and my mind isn't occupied with Portuguese and biochemistry lab protocols. I miss my family a lot. It doesn't even matter that I am in another country! If I were just an hour away from home, I would feel exactly the same. My daily routine involves 14 people, not including my friends or coworkers. It's my mom, dad, aunt, little brother, two brothers-in-law, my two oldest sisters (my third sister is serving in the Army and stationed at Fort Bliss, TX), and six nieces and nephews. I see them all daily, especially because we all live down the street from one another. I have such a close family, and the biggest emptiness I feel is at night when ordinarily, I would be going home after work to join my thirteen-year-old niece with late night Frosted Flakes and Criminal Minds episodes. There are no early mornings of toting kids to soccer or afternoons with my mom here. My little brother is too far away for me to help prepare for his starting college, and I can only do so much via Skype. My aunt and I have a biweekly tradition of Outback Steakhouse, and I felt so sad when she told me the other day about how she went by herself and got some dinner to-go.
      I don't mean for this post to be such a downer. I guess I'm just making the point that sometimes, it can be really hard to be away from home, even in one of the most beautiful places in the world! I brought comfort food (as suggested), but my main comfort food is fruit, and I have plenty of that here. What would make all the difference is if my brother or my best friend were here with me, but there is no replacement for either of those. But make no mistake; I do not allow myself to mope or be unhappy during my days. The best way to get through this homesickness is to be as adventurous and busy as I can! Besides, I'm sure when I get home, there will be a morning when my niece wakes me up at 7 AM for a ride to school, and all I will be saying then is, "Gosh! I wish I was in Floripa!"

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