Change Yourself…Change The World.

Rest Time… Or Is It?
August 6, 2009, 2:18 am
Filed under: USA

Again, I am finally back in the USA. Adjusting back to the life here has been SO normal that it’s seemed strange to me. I feel like I should be experiencing some intense culture shock (or counter-culture shock?), but I’ve been pretty nonchalant about the entire thing. Maybe it’s because by now, I’m so used to a completely new thing every day, that this is just another new setting that I’ve easily adjusted to.

This is supposedly the ‘rest time’ of my summer- I have approximately 2.5 weeks to soak up the sun, relax, read some mundane books, and fully appreciate doing nothing. But even this ‘rest’ eludes me. It seems that those summers where I could sit around and do nothing has ended. For starters, I am learning about 5 hours of Spanish a day right now- Rosetta Stone, folks. I’m supposed to be at least conversational for my internship in Paraguay (which starts in a little over a month), so I’m trying to buckle down and learn as much of the language as I can (having taken Spanish since elementary school helps a bit, but not much). Rosetta Stone is supposedly ‘garaunteed’ to help you learn Spanish. Well, I’ve spent about 10 hours on it so far, and I’ll tell you- I’m not too hopeful about being fluent by the time I head out to Costa Rica.

Also, I have a 30 page paper due in about… five days. A paper on my experiences of Grameen Bank, which is due to my school. Luckily, I’ve written about 20 pages so far (the best thing to do is write as you go along… I’ve spent many a hour in Grameen Solutions discreetly typing out my ‘experiences’ there, when I should’ve been researching- I suppose you can say I WAS researching, but for my own personal means…), but I still have a ways to go.

And of course, being gone from the US for a year means doing all of the check-ups that I’ve missed out on. Like my yearly doctor’s appointment. Going to the dentist. Getting vaccinations for South America. Sending in my passport to get a visa for Paraguay. Going to Pearl Vision to get my eyes checked (they have grown quite dimmer in the past year…). Running to the DMV to finally switch my California license back to Florida’s. All of those fun appointments.

And then there’s the ‘whoops, I have to catch up on the good old USA life again.’ Which means watching ‘The Hangover,’ ‘Bruno,’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ in theatres, all ‘must-sees’ I am told, by various people. Reading up on People magazines, as well as The Economist. Making the trips to WalGreens.

Let’s not forget the myriad of friends I’ve yet to see since coming home. Or the books I SHOULD read before going off to do a semester about poverty alleviation and learning about NGOs and aid agencies- like ‘the White Man’s Burden,’ or ‘The End of Poverty,’ (which I still have not yet gotten through). Packing, and repacking, for a four month trip to South America- rethinking strategies about what it is that I’ll need, what worked well on my last trip and what didn’t I use at all? What do I need this time around, and what can I leave out? How many books should I bring? What about ALL of the boxes I sent home from all four countries that are now lying in a mess around my room and obviously need to be cleaned up?

So as you can see, these two weeks of predefined ‘rest’ can otherwise be converted into a ‘crazy chaotic mess.’ I wouldn’t exactly say the next two weeks of my life will be comfortably spent lying on the sunny beach of Florida trying to get a tan. This is what I’ve been a bit worried about- the fact that I have no ‘rest’ period in my life- I’m feeling a bit burned out from traveling, and I haven’t had the time to readjust back to anything before running off again.

However, I just spent about an hour re-reading some posts from Bangladesh and I have absolutely nothing to complain about in my life, ever. I love my life. It is fantastic, and I can’t wait for the adventures to continue. Costa Rica, Panama, Paraguay, Argentina, Chile, Easter Island, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, the Galapagos… you are all in my grasp within the next four months. I can’t wait to sample each and every one of you.

For now, relaxin in the good old USA,


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