I think we've reached another landmark in our time here in Nicaragua. We visited Tim's family in California, leaving the day after Christmas and returning on January 4th. It felt a little early to be going back to the U.S. -- it was almost exactly 4 months after our arrival -- but being with family for Christmas felt more important than waiting a little longer. We were wondering if we were going to feel reverse culture shock, and I think it actually wasn't too bad for us. We thoroughly enjoyed hot showers, cooking with molasses, and a more luxurious style of life during our vacation. And most importantly, we got to spend time with family.
I did, however, have moments of feeling strange. We were at Tim's parents' house for this visit, and that was the place that we spent the 3 weeks just before we left the U.S. to come to Nicaragua in August. Also, we spent most of our first 4 months doing intensive language training. So, we found ourselves talking about our work mostly in the future tense (still!). At times I had a strange feeling that maybe we hadn't really left -- that we were still getting ready to go for the first time, and the last 4 months had been a dream.
But then, when the vacation was over, we came home.
And it really felt like coming home. Some of the same people came to get us at the airport, but now they are our friends. And our house is not just an almost empty place we can stay for 3 months (even that first night, we had a bed to sleep on, for which we were incredibly grateful), but the place we think we will stay for these three years, a place we are starting to make our own.
It's a good feeling.