Repatriation… I have recently been told it is as hard as expatriating… Something I was completely oblivious to and with only 63 days left in country so many things are swirling around in my mind.
Will I miss the sounds of the city? Will I miss the noise which constantly berates my ear drums? The dull roar of the cars driving by, the horns, the tuktuk mufflers, and the whistles. The flashing lights from the big screen billboards that reflect in the windows of the high rise next to me and on a dark night can illuminate my entire apartment, will that “night light” be missed?
Part of me thinks that when I get home the quiet will be deafening. I won’t even know what to do with the silence of winter. How will that affect me? Will it bring on a sense of loneliness or will it be a long awaited relief? Will my ears ring from the silence or will I still hear these damn whistles in the cold southern night because they are forever ingrained into my subconscious?
Can you really ever go home again? Will it be different? Will the culture shock that we just got “over” here and accepted as the norm make the culture shock of the States that much more difficult? Will we recognize it as familiar? Will we be accepted back into the fold or will we stick out like a sore thumb? Have my world views changed so much that I will never be the same American that I was before? Will I ever be able to look at home the same way again? Will our “American” problems ever be something I can comprehend again with what I have seen here; the poverty, the crime, the hurt experienced by so many people just trying to make it through the day to feed their family?
These questions are just coming up as my time here abroad ends. I’m ready to come home but I am concerned about the unknown. How will my family adjust? Will we be sad to leave everything we know behind? Will we be happy to finally be home? Will our brains feel like they might explode from hearing a language we understand? Will my son be able to comprehend that he can’t eat pineapple everyday (due to having seasons) or that chicken and rice isn’t the usual lunch time meal for kids his age? How long will it take to feel normal again?
There are so many unknowns. Questions which can only be answered with time…. Time I am more than willing to spend with my new family figuring it all out together. I supposed it is just our next big adventure.