"the rough ground shall become level..."
Today I���m feeling rather wistful and thoughtful, and wishing I had words/freedom to say more of what I���d like to say. I���ve been reading over a friend���s blog recently (let me tell you, beware of getting started on these things, as they are quite addictive), and hearing her pour out her heart and share such great stories has stirred up a lot of emotions in me. I don���t think I���m really feeling homesick or hit with culture shock, but when I stop to think about my life, especially this past year, and even more these past 4 months, I���m hit by a wall of emotions.
Living overseas is both just as I expected and also somehow nothing like what I expected. I think part of me thought I���d be basically drowning in the homesickness and newness/differentness of it all, but I���m not. I have my up and down days, but overall I���m having fun. There are so many amazing sights here, so many unique people and animals, and at the same time, so many things that remind me of home.
Cows everywhere remind me of my aunt and uncle���s house, and stories my mom has told me about growing up on a farm. Feeling the breeze as I ride in a rickshaw reminds me of riding in my friend���s convertible with the top down on a nice afternoon (though much more bumpy and no loud singing!). My language teacher, so petite and sweet, with all her little mannerisms and fun ways of pronouncing things, makes me think of my grandmothers.
The loud festivals, with colorful costumes, floats, music, and jubilant celebration scream of Mardi Gras time in south Louisiana, in more ways than I can even begin to describe. Drum beats and people marching in celebration make me think of fall and marching bands, high school and football season. Spending lazy Sunday afternoons hanging out at our friends��� house, just drinking coffee and talking, reminds me of Sunday afternoons at home with the family.
Every time I wash clothes, I think about the goofy little drying rack I had in college, which I never used; now I have a metal one just like it and it���s my best friend (oh, for a dryer to fluff my clothes instead of ironing them!). Our milk here comes in little plastic bags that you have to pour into a pitcher, and reminds me of 7th grade, when our Jr. High tried to replace milk cartons with milk bags��安hat a mess!
I���m thankful every time I walk into my own bathroom, able to take as long as I want to get ready and not have to wait for the shower J The gym has the same machines as my gym in Lafayette, although some ask you how many kilos you weigh instead of pounds. Hindi words sound like Spanish or French on occasion, throwing me into a momentary confusion. Rainy days and flooded streets make me think about watching poor UL students practically swim across campus when the weather was bad.
It may sound strange, but there are so many little things here that just seem so normal that sometimes I completely forget I���m not living in America anymore. However, it rarely takes long for me to remember where I am, and when I really consider it all (like I���m doing today), I���m truly amazed at the turns my life has taken lately. What a surprise! What an adventure! What a strange, strange journey. What a wonder that something that, from a distance, seemed so impossible has actually been made so much smoother and enjoyable than I ever could have imagined.

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