Since returning home i've found myslef struggling. My mind buzzing with conflicting realities.
While away, i made decisions and decided who i was and what i stood for. ideas grounded in consumption, excess, and waste, were all tied directly with first hand experiences with sustainability, hunger, poverty and untainted happiness.
On arrival my loved ones called it culture shock. I didn't believe them, because culture shock is temporary; meaning i'll get over it. I don't want to get over it. I don't want to assimilate. My eyes have been opened and my heart tells me whats right. Little of what i am seeing here in the states fit my new ideals, and i found myself irritated at my loved ones for not understanding, for living in such excess.
My experience away has slowly morphed from something that defined and molded me, into something little more than a dream. Its amazing that a year can be blurred into little more than faint memories when contrasted with my life here.
Was i really there? Did i see those places with my own eyes, did i really smell the mango trees, or get nauseous walking through an old meat market? Did i really hear Denis fuss over me like a mother hen?
Weeks go by, and i am no longer appalled at my fellow americans, i slowly become more and more comfortable with the way things are. Watching someone dump a plate of food into the trash no longer disgusts me. Answering the cell phone- which i swore i'd never own- doesn't even phase me.
But in those dark hours before sleep, all the luxuries i enjoy make me feel guilty. Because i remember Gustavo, Denis, Cebastio, and others giving so much when they really had nothing to give. Yes it may seem like a dream. But i will remember.