Home, Away, Home

April 26, 2006

Back home in Louisville, Kentucky and I'm struggling to understand the differences between my life as of this morning, and the one I led 24 hours ago. How can so much change so quickly? I often think that the culture shock of returning to your home country is much more than when you visit others. I always expect other countries to be different, and so when they are, I'm not surprised. However, I expect my home to be the same as I remember it, yet I'm always surprised. It may not have changed, but I certainly have.
The last few days in Niteroi were spectacular. The Churrasco was a roaring success, over 80 people came, and it went from 2am until 5am the next morning. Rodrigo and I had planned to start it early so it would end early and we could go fishing with his cousins the next morning, but as it turned out, we just pulled an all nighter and went straight from the churrasco to his cousin's house. Fishing was fantastic, as I set a record of number of fish caught. This was easy, since I'd never caught one before. 🙂 That night, I put off sleep again and went out to Castelaria, where there was a live Samba band and I got to try out my Brazilian dance steps once again. My last two days were a mix of meeting friends and dancing. I made it one more time to Queen Pizza, Forro (live music and dancing, basically the brazilian version of Salsa) and then my favorite lanchonete (fruit and snack bar)… As had become a ritual for Debora and I on Sunday nights.
It was sad to wake up on Monday, knowing it was my last day… but this time leaving Brazil is different. Brazil, and particularly, my life in Niteroi, has become a part of me. I know I'll be back soon. I went to visit the Creche one more time to say goodbye to all the kids and the teachers. They were so appreciative of my time there, and gave me a bracelet and shirt to take back with me and remember them by. I'm so lucky to be caught between such great situations. I couldn't have asked for a better experience in Brazil, and yet I'm incredibly excited to come back and get to work with my friends, excited to create a life that as yet doesn't exist, and a life that has no infrastructure, and therefore, no limitations.