It’s 6PM on the 13th and I’m staring out the window of my plane headed to Switzerland. As I watch my hometown slip away from my view, tears stream down my face. I knew that it would be hard to leave my family and friends again, but I didn’t know it would be this hard! It felt so comfortable immersing myself back into American life. Things I worried about like culture shock and stomach issues just weren’t a problem for me, thank goodness. I did however, really missed speaking Romanian, my Romanian friends, students, and fellow volunteers, but I had an amazing time at home doing amazingly wonderful American things like outside BBQs and eating foods from all over the world. (Many of you asked what I ate for my first meal in the states-it was Chinese food! Don’t worry, the burgers, steaks, seafood and pizza would come later.) I attended a beautiful Eastern Shore wedding (where we left at 8:30PM-before the party even STARTS in Romania!) and participated in all the July 4th celebrations I missed out on last year. (Dressing up in ALL red, white and blue, wearing gaudy necklaces, glasses, watching the parade, cookout with the family, fireworks!) There was wine tasting, special dinners with family, and fun times out with my friends. It was so good to be back.
As some of you know, my two weeks at home was extended to three weeks because Peace Corps put me on “Medical Hold”. I had a suspect mole removed by my dermatologist while home and ended up waiting around longer for second opinions on the biopsy results and then finally, thankfully, a clearance. It was pretty scary just wondering if maybe I had skin cancer and I was relieved to finally get the good news that it was benign. (NOW would be a good time to start wearing suntan lotion and not tanning oil…) While it was scary to be held in the states for medical reasons, I have to admit it was nice to get those extra days to spend with loved ones. A huge bonus was that I was able to be around for my sister’s 21st! I was reminiscing about my own 21st-I was studying abroad in Spain and partied All. Night. Long. Was that really almost FIVE YEARS AGO!? Ughhh.
Please enjoy the numerous pictures to follow, I feel that’s the best way to give you a glimpse into my life in the states for three weeks. Although I’m sad to leave my family and friends, I am exited to get back into my life in Romania. My summer is jam packed with activities and I start right away after I arrive in Bucharest later today!
|Love my momma! Watching the parade on the 4th of July in Fairfax, VA|
|Watching the parade! Mom, Mary, Dara, me and Aunt Mary|
|You know you're in VA when everything is fried....|
|This poor kid must have been maybe 8 or 9-he walked the whole parade!|
|Hoggettes!! GOOO Redskins!|
|4th of July horses.|
|I love their "got poo?" shirts! The walked behind the horses and picked up the messes.|
|I want one.|
|Pimp my ride?|
|Some awesome dancers from Bolivia. (And my sister!)|
|We stopped to buy lemonade from a neighborhood stand.|
|My beautiful cousin Dara in her garden.|
|I made a 4th of July Cake! (Thanks Lisa)|
|Dad, the master of the grill. Chicken, Sausages, Hamburgers, Hotdogs=America.|
|An American spread!|
|A St. Bernard named "Rocky". Uncle Terry has him in a headlock apparently...|
|A Great Dane named "Tiny". Linda was in love.|
|It was a great 4th. We ended the day at a lake. Eli, (cousin) Me, and Dara (cousin)|