Got back to the states Saturday Jan 15, 2011 @ 5:30am. It took 48hrs to get back to the States. I find myself trying to get back into the swing of things, harder than expected. I have a bigger culture shock being back in the states than I did when we landed in Asia.
Thinking back on the different moments that made this trip memorable my mind goes in many different directions. It starts by remembering the feeling of walking out of the airport. My mind was set on the weird smell it was going to encounter, boy was I wrong. Not sure if it was my nose or if it was my mind smelling what it wanted. Be what it may, it wasn’t bad at all. Once in a while as we were going in a Tuk Tuk a smell of food, mixed with sewer and trash smacked you straight in the nose. To which at one point I joked “mmmm, where are the crackers? Guess when you are born and raised in Puerto Rico, going into this heat and weird smells wasn’t that much of a culture shock.
My mind went black and started speaking to a friend on Facebook explaining how it has been hard to be back and what I learned during the trip. Learned I have to slow down, which brings me to my most eye opening experience to my true self. I was having one of my hardest days so far and was hiding behind my music. Hiding, which to this day I know I’m not good at. And at the Sambodhi Home for the Disabled (in Sri Lanka) even the best at hiding are found. I was pulled every which way by these amazing people, felt like they felt my sadness and wanted to get my mind away from it. I lost myself listening to music with them and as I was stepping back I fell into a hole. Took a moment to compose myself and take a deep breath so I wouldn’t start crying like a little girl, cause OMG It HURT!!! Slowly start getting up and find myself looking into the eyes of one of the most kindest man I’ve met – Waruna. He looked straight at me, smiled and said “you have bad timing. Third time you hurt today, two in bus and now fall, you have bad timing, you have to slow down.”
I need to slow down and enjoy the little things, the things that I was pushing to the side ’cause I was too busy trying to get somewhere.
I find myself going thru the pictures of the trip to think back on memorable experiences. The TV is on in the background but really not listening or looking at it – the pictures now have my full attention. As I pause to reply to a text of a friend that is having a bad moment, the tv gets muffled by a noise coming from outside. Turn to look out the balcony and see that the tree outside was full of birds picking off the seeds that are now soft and good for them to eat. At least i think they are seeds. I mute the tv to take the time to listen to the birds. Taking the time to enjoy the little things reminds me of sitting on the steps at Unawatuna Hotel in southern Sri Lanka as Erin, Eric and I sat and stared at some ants that were working on getting some chips off the floor and into their homes. It was very refreshing to know that other two people could sit and enjoy with me the little things. No tv, no radio, no talking, just the 3 of us enjoying each other’s company and trying to figure out if the ants could take the big piece. Going into this trip I never thought taking the time to slow down and enjoy the little things like this was far from my life. I would do this trip again in a heartbeat and plan on it. It has given back my life! How and through what specific experience? That is like asking me to pick my favorite scene of my favorite movie. You have to step out of your four walls and experience this for yourself. Every one is looking for something different when they decide to embark on something like this. I assure you this, no one can experience it for you.
HFSV Winter Impact Team 2011