Wednesday, September 8, 2010
My Boots, My Home
I've been back in Hovd for about a week and a half now. Though it doesn't seem like such a long time, so much has happened- countless meeting, three couch surfers (two of which were bona fide gypsies...seriously. they brought their own accordion), a total apartment move and lots of joyful reconnecting. For a while I kept waiting, wondering when the difficult times would start. In the fall of last year I had a rather rough go of it. Painfully lonely and perhaps a little too sad, I longed for someone to share my experiences with. Trudging up 5 flights of stairs to a cold, dark apartment every night is not something anyone would look forward to. Even less so with the isolation, culture shock and relative poverty that volunteering abroad wrecks. But thus far...nothing this year. I keep wondering what it is- why am I so darned content? One would think that the exquisite pain of being left by someone they care about so deeply would be a beast to battle. And it has been. But so far my friend has been as present and supportive as humanly possible though he is a continent away and dealing with changes of his own. So perhaps it's the fact that it's still a comfortable temperature outside? Or that I have a brand new and certifiably warmer apartment? Or is it that Hovd has received the gift of four awesome new Peace Corps Volunteers this year? (Us ladies ate soy burgers, gabbed and watched Sex in the City til the wee hours last night. A joy for sure.) Or is it the pheromones pulsing through my brain resulting from a week of thoroughly satisfying runs? Maybe it's one reason. Maybe all of them. I think I'm just more comfortable here. Knowing what lies ahead. and not having to rely on the enigmatic 'here there be monsters' scrawled across my looming year makes a huge difference. As I watch many of my friends decide to terminate their stint in Peace Corps early and return to America, it has thrown into sharp contrast so many things I am be grateful for in my experience here. First there are the basics- great site mates, a really interesting job, brilliant students and an interesting town. But then there is one of the best thing a girl can hope for: support. Parents who tirelessly send care packages and friends who cheer me on at every step are in my corner. Many of my fellow volunteers have parents are unimpressed to say the least and friends who dog them for not being at concerts together in Manhattan. Not me. At this point I'm starting to feel like Jimmy Buffet might have writing his autobiography. Not a cloud in the sky. But really I know there will be hard times ahead. The weather will cool and things will get lonely. But that is later. Right now coming back to Hovd feels like slipping on an old leather boots- the footprint right where I left it, snug and just right. Later my feet might be miserably cold in those boots but this I know right now for sure: the sun is shining warm on my face today. And it's good to be back home.