mixed emotions

Today, I embark on a 36-hour-long journey back to the States. How do I feel? Everything!! Over the past few weeks and days, my strongest feelings were born of survival mode: I just wanted it to be over with. I wanted the packing to be done, the overweight bags, the heavy gifts that make the bags even more overweight, the goodbyes. I wanted to speed time up and then disappear like Harry Potter putting on his invisibility cloak.

However, there have been multiple times over the last few weeks when I have wondered why I am leaving. Times like these:

Watching Eclipse with Hannah, Ali, and Co Giang, our wonderful Vietnamese teacher!

Pizza and nem with our MCC coworker and surrogate mother, Co Bay!

Trying one last type of street food...

Watching the World Cup with Hannah's wonderful host family.

One last coffee date with Bac at his cafe next to our office.

Drinking iced sugarcane juice with the girls--so glad I don't have to say goodbye to them yet!

But now it's here and I am mostly excited, but also nervous. How difficult will it be to readjust to life in the States? Sometimes, I think that the adjustment can't be so bad; I mean, my life here has been pretty normal, really...

Then I realize what I have just thought and think: You thought this place was crazy when you first got here, Calah. Now you think it's normal. Yep, you've got an adjustment ahead!

But the things that I'm most worried about aren't whether I will remember how to drive a car or cross a street, but the less tangible things: Will everything be different? How have I changed? Will I find that I have changed so much that I am awkward with my old friends? Will it be difficult to share what I have learned and experienced? Will I ever get a job? Will I be lonely? Will everyone demand concrete answers to those questions that are so easy to ask but so much harder to answer--What did you take away from your year in Viet Nam? What did you accomplish?


But even with the anxiety, I am excited. I am excited about seeing family and friends and eating homemade wheat bread. But I am also excited about the plans I have for the next six months, because I have lots...

That I'll talk about in my next post. :)

See you in the States!!!
*Note: I tried to post this before I actually left Viet Nam, but was thwarted multiple times. Now, I am posting it from the lobby of a hotel in Las Angeles.... Yep! You know that 36-hour-trip I was just talking about? Make that 50 hours!! Fortunately, Ali, Hannah and I are pretty good at amusing ourselves. And, there is free breakfast coming right up! :)

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