once again, a lot has occured since last i posted anything.
i flew back home, visited virginia, met a lot of lee's family, drove to tennessee, went to an amazing music festival, drove back to virginia, flew to california, went to the spa (thank god), saw more family, and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off, trying to stock up on supplies and gifts to bring back to post. everything in the states seems simple, but going to target, costco, best buy, and old navy all in one day still takes it out of you.
one year down, one to go.
coming back to the states was bizarre at first. the small cultural differences are what were initially the most strange to me, for example, apparently it's really formal to shake everyone's hand in a room. also, toilet seats are awfully sturdy and roads are awfully wide and smooth. being in walmart is like being trapped in an air-conditioned hamster cage with lots of distractions. sushi is my life blood, the only thing that i seriously cannot replicate in cameroon. road rage seems completely unnecessary and everyone seems terrified and stressed out for one reason or another. climate change climate change climate change. at post, my scope is not so large.
the music festival was an oasis, a place that was neither in the states or africa, full of things to listen to and look at. it was so much fun. i will never forget it. live music has this amazing power to move me emotionally in a way that nothing else can. i realize that i can't live without it.
it was also great to see my family in california, although i felt a great deal of stress there, mostly because i only had one week to run ten thousand errands and see everyone before i came back.
and now, the backness. it was ridiculously difficult for me to leave washington dc and my boyfriend, knowing that i would be spending a year without him, which, for your family, is ok because you are 95% sure that you will see everyone again and have the same relationship. they are stuck with you and your roles are defined. inter-continental romantic relationships are another beast, full of uncertainty and an extreme desire to hold on as tight as you can but also knowing that you can't control what happens. this depresses me, and i know that it will depress me for a long time to come.
apart from that, everything is advancing. the minute i got off the plane and smelled cameroon, i knew that everything was fine and that i feel at home here and still have a lot of work to do. i immediately went to help with the training of the new SED/ED stage, and have now immediately programmed another tour of my mobile computer lab, for which i need to create four more interactive lesson plans. work work work. i just wish that the depressed tinge would go away. i thought that i could completely blot it out with frantic activity. apparently it's not that simple. damnit. and i've only been back for ten days. maybe it will get easier?