Back in the USA
I finally landed back in the states yesterday, and it was definitely a surreal experience, but not as shocking or weird as I thought it might be. It definitely is good to be back home, enjoying the holiday season with my family and friends, but I already miss Perú and the incredible people I have met there. The scenery and climate is definitely different, it is far colder and less humid here and I have traded in the incredible landscapes of Perú for the tranquil, familiar cornfields of the Midwest. It’s been a little hard to adjust to not having incredibly fresh seafood available and everything being more expensive, but it still feels good to be home.
Definitely the oddest sensation so far has been hearing English spoken all around me as the primary language, I noticed it first in the airport and the feeling has only gotten more pronounced the longer I have been back. I keep doing a double-take whenever I see a sign written only in English and then remember, “oh yeah, I’m back in the states.”
Although it was definitely great to see all my friends, and I was fortunate that almost everyone got back into town from school on the same day as me so we were all able to get together, it was still incredibly strange relating my experiences to people that had not been in a Latin American country for the past four and a half months and I soon tired of trying to explain things in detail. It felt very bizarre to be sitting in my friend’s living room doing the same thing we’ve been doing since high school, almost as if I had not been out of the country for nearly half a year. Though I definitely was looking forward to being back and relaxing in the calm of the heartland for a couple weeks, it felt kind of boring that I was not about to go to a peña (traditional Peruvian folk music bar), or a salsa bar, or a trip deep into the Amazon. What can I say; now that I am back in the tranquil Midwest I am even starting to miss the chaos that is the traffic, noise, and bustle of Lima.
I have been trying to listen to more music in Spanish and continue reading Latin American literature in order to maintain my language abilities, and luckily I have been able to encourage many of my friends to start practicing Spanish again and we will hopefully be conversing as much in Spanish as in English during my time back in the states.
It’s still so crazy to me that I am already back and that nearly five months has elapsed since I landed in Perú, I learned so much it what seemed like an incredibly short time. I am so thankful to have had this incredibly experience and have learned so much. I can’t wait to return to Perú soon and see all of the wonderful friends I made there again.