On May 14th I woke up at 2:12 am, took a long taxi ride to the airport, and left Ecuador. I arrived in Oregon after 22 hours of travel. It was a long day, made better by Swedish Fish, naps, and happy memories.
When I arrived in Oregon it felt like nothing had changed. My parents looked the same and there weren’t any major changes at our house (except my dad put some sprouting potatoes on my dresser).
On one of our last days in Ecuador we had a re-entry session. We talked about some difficulties that we might have when we got back to the states and things that we would miss about Ecuador. So far, transitioning back to life in Oregon hasn’t been too difficult. I’m enjoying drinking tap water, sleeping in, and spending time with my parents. The biggest adjustment so far has been the fact that sunset in Oregon is currently around 9:00 pm, but in Ecuador the sun sets around 6:30 pm. A couple days after I got back, my mom and I got Thai food (my favorite) to bring home for dinner. As we pulled in the driveway, my mom commented on how late it was and that my dad was probably hungry. I had totally lost track of time and it was still light out, so I didn’t think it was that late, probably 6ish. Turns out that it was 8:45 and my dad was very hungry… Whoops!
Besides that, re-entry has just been like my everyday life in Eugene. I go hiking almost every day, which has helped me re-connect to my northwest roots. One day I overheard a fellow hiker say “that’s the Oregon I know and love.” That quote really resonated with me at that moment. I had just gotten back to Eugene and I was remembering what I always loved about my hometown. The trees here are just so lovely!
The title of this blog is “Home Again (?)” with emphasis on the question mark. I’m leaving Eugene in a few days to travel to eastern Idaho, where I’ll spend the summer doing fieldwork. My concept of “home” has definitely changed since starting college and traveling to Ecuador. My parents’ house in Eugene will always be a “home” for me, but I’m realizing that I can now create my own “home” wherever I happen to be. All it takes is a small picture, a special blanket, and a feeling of “home” in my heart.
All in all, I am very grateful for my time and adventures in Ecuador. This last semester in Ecuador has definitely inspired my curious and adventurous spirit and I’m looking forward to many more journeys in the future.
Thanks for reading my blog and following my semester!