Friday, June 15, 2007

"No one looks at me?!" (Email to Friends!)

Hey Herd,

Guess what….I’m home! Yup!

I came home on Wednesday night- as a surprise for my family. They’ve known for maybe a month, or so? But I’ve been planning the trip for maybe 5 months!! :) It’s a surprise for the rest of my family- only a few people know so far!!

I’m home for about 2 weeks. Next week, it’s my big family reunion in NC- there are now more than 100 people on my mom’s side of the family! There were less than 100 when I left!!! The week after that, I’ll probably go visit my brother in New Jersey- he is working at a summer camp there. I go back to South Asia on June 29th, or 30th I think. Things there are going really well. I’m so encouraged by all that’s happening there. I still have 2 months left on my project in South Asia and then hope to travel a bit for about a month after that, so I’ll be home again in about 3 months - October.

I can’t tell you how good, sad, strange, weird, and comfortable it feels to be back home after 2 years. My bed must be the softest bed ever made…really! I asked my mom, “was this a different bed than I had before?” She was like, “um, no.” I’m shocked- wow, the softness is unbelievable.

I asked Natalie, “why don’t you go check the tanks…” meaning- go up to the roof and see how much water came today, since where we are, that’s a daily routine- and recently, the water’s been really low. I asked my mom, “Do you guys just drink this water, right from the tap?”

Yesterday my mom and Natalie had planned to go to WalMart and out to lunch- I told them I was scared to go out…all those white people!! Honestly, I’ve not been around more than about 20 white people the whole time I’ve been away from home- and certainly not more than 20 white people who ALL SPEAK THE SAME LANGUAGE, ENGLISH!! Ahh!

Needless to say, I went with them. In the WalMart, Natalie and I needed to ask the price on something, and the first words that came to my mind were, “yuh katuk duble chu?” (or yek kitna kya hai- for those hindi speakers, "how much is this" for English speakers!). I haven’t dealt with an English speaking shopkeeper for a really long time. I told my dad, “slow down!” on the way home from Philadelphia airport- that must be to the fastest I’ve ever gone. For the first time in two years, I wore a seat belt. It isn't that I don't feel like I need one in South Asia, but it's because generally the people are so close together, it holds you in tighter than any seat belt!! Oh yeah, and while I feel like I’m way out of place here, NO ONE LOOKS AT ME! But I feel like I know everyone! All the Americans look alike!

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I’m back in town!!!!! However…..I must also say that my family has demanded my full attention during these two short week!!! Thus, I’m not sure how much roaming around I’ll be able to do in Newark…I’m not sure how if I’ll get to see any of you, it could be that our reunion might have to wait til I really get home in October….

~ Liz

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