As most of you know (and sorry if you don't - it was a last-minute-rushed-spur-of-the-moment-surprise kind of deal), I am currently writing to you from the comforts of my home in MN! About two weeks before Christmas, as Ecuador break plans were still up in the air, I stumbled upon a very affordable flight and decided that I could use a little friend/family time in the good old US of A. So despite my feelings of hesitation and slight guilt for not taking advantage of travel time in Ecuador, I booked the flight and have not regretted my decision for a split second since.
Although it was nearly impossible to keep such a huge secret for 12 days, and the flight home was probably the longest day of my life, it was all worth it when I saw my mom's huge grin at the airport (she and college friend Katie were the only two people who knew I was coming back!), then the shocked, excited, frightened (I'm pretty sure some of them thought they were really actually seeing me in ghost form), overwhelmed, astonished, confused, ecstatic,(insert other adjectives of that nature here) faces of my dad, sister, brother, aunt, neighbors, and best friends! Once I convinced them that it was really me, they cleared their schedules and we've spent the last 8 days catching up, making snow angels, sitting at Caribou, watching movies, eating out, going to plays, cuddling, drinking tea and bloody mary's, playing games, and just spending quality time together.
The week has flown by, and it has truly been wonderful and rejuvinating and comforting to be here, but I am ready to return to my "other" home. I miss my kids, and my fellow volunteers, and the warm weather, and the mountains. One of the first things people here have asked when they see me is "will it be hard to go back?" Oddly enough, there was never a doubt in my mind that I wouldn't want to return to Ecuador... Not because I won't miss you all tremendously, but because I was once again reminded over the last few days of the incredibly strong, loving, supportive relationships that I am a part of here, and that will still be here when I return in August.