It feels so weird to be home! As soon as I got off the plane it really sank in that I won't be seeing Ivette, Alysa, Cameron, David, Mariko, and Clara on a daily basis anymore. We began this trip as acquaintances but now I feel so close to all of them and I hope we maintain that friendship now that we're back in our own lives again.
On the other hand, I loved seeing my mom and brother at the airport! I missed them so much and it was so wonderful to go back home with them. The only thing that was super weird about seeing my brother was finding out that he outgrew me in the one month I was gone! My little 15 year old brother is now taller than me; very strange. We also hung out with some close family friends last night so there were a lot of hugs, smiles, and conversations among us. I was able to finally tell them, in person, how the program was for me, and I went on and on about how amazing it was. Seriously though, the Social Justice class with Prof. Lamas and Michael was incredible and I was thrilled to share my experiences with everyone last night.
I think that it is going to feel strange for a little while living back home without my cohort, but I life will return to "normal" in a couple weeks. I put quotations around normal because I don't think that I will be able to go through my days without critically thinking about what is going on around me. Although I believe that I was quite thoughtful and aware of my surroundings before the program, this class has widened my perspectives and taught me how to think even deeper about my actions and the actions of others. Already, I have noticed a change in how I take in what other people say to me, and I try to respond in a more thoughtful way. I am not saying that I am a totally different person, because I am most definitely not; but I do think that I have changed in some ways that I believe will allow me to move through life with more critical analysis and understanding.
I am excited to share the hundreds of pictures I took with family and friends, and I hope that I am able to hold on to my identity this next school year while I continue through my personal transformation (we discussed this with Arnold Farr).