I've been back in the US for a couple of weeks now. A lot of people have asked about reverse culture shock, and I'd have to say it's been a smooth transition. It was a good idea to go to Portugal for a week between re-entry week at the MCC headquarters in Akron PA and coming back to Arizona.
When I landed in Philadelphia after two long days of traveling I was greeted by my Mom's cousins and their kids. So great to have people there to welcome me home. It was a total surprise and the best way to come home. Signs, hugs, kisses... Seriously, I have the best family.
Re-entry was great and I'm so glad I went. Initially I was weary about spending 5 days in limbo between Indonesia and home, but in the end the sessions MCC had planned and the time I got to hear other people's stories and share my own was really great. That said, the heat in PA that week was miserable. I couldn't believe how hot is was... Hotter than Indonesia, it felt like!
Portugal.... What can I say, being in Portugal is always a blast and always so, so hard to leave. Spent days on the beach, nights in town, and sleep just did not happen very often. Amanda was there as well as the boys and getting to spend time with them was so good.
I've had some funny incidents being back... I realized that not understanding Bahasa Indonesian when spoken quickly or in long stretches (for example, church services) made me really good at zoning out mentally. I cannot for the life of me pay attention to someone for longer then 10 minutes anymore. Re-entry sessions, church services... Even though they're in English! My mind wanders really fast.
Also making decisions. If someone asks me where I want to go out to, I just get so overwhelmed with all the choices that I really do get mentally paralyzed and can't choose a place. That has been frustrating. I can't BELIEVE all the restaurants there are here in Phoenix! And not just restaurants- I walk into a store wanting to buy one thing and I get to the area of the store where it's at and there are 47 different brands and 3 different choices in each of the brand for the same stinking product.
And everything is huge. The bottles of shampoo, the meal portions, the cars, the houses, the streets, the mountains, the distances between places, the bills.... I didn't remember everything being just so big.
Ah but I'm enjoying things I missed. The Arizona landscape, meat and cheese galore, air conditioning, a dryer, a big fridge. People. People who I can relate to and talk to without avoiding certain subjects because I don't know how to say certain words in their language. And showing skin. Tanks tops, two pieces, shorts... Running and no one staring at me... I'm really enjoying it all. A lot.
I didn't end up applying for the job in Palestine after I got back. I need to take a break from traveling internationally for a bit and focus on acquiring some marketable skills that I can then take back overseas.
In the mean time I'll blog back on here once in a while as I process being in America again, and possibly will start posting some interesting development stuff I've been finding.