Lately I've been trying to complete tasks on my to do list rather than procrastinate them. Part of my motivation is that my Mom and Rod are coming to Paraguay and I want all things to be in order for their arrival! I have a bad habit of hoarding things here. I have the best intentions and always think of how things could be used for some sort of craft...it's a sort of madness. Anyway, I found myself cleaning out my inbox tonight and found emails and comments from my blog during training.
I just wanted to cry. I am so thankful for the for the support I've had during this journey. You have no idea how much any positive comment has helped me. Letters, messages, and packages...people have been fantastic. I found heart warming comments from my fellow UNT Social Work ladies, from friends of all walks, family, and from unexpected people whom I'm not in contact with regularly.
Emails from my Dad are always special because he's not that computer savvy. He always had the date of my last blog memorized because he would check it so often to see if I had written anything new. My Mom has flooded my inbox with photos of any family event that has ever happened and has sent worried messages every time I've been sick. "Natalie, are you okay today? I haven't heard from you."
My Aunts have sent packages filled with food and spices, my friends from England have even spoiled me! People have gone out of their way to send wedding invitations and Christmas cards to me...such simple gestures, but they have always meant the world.
To those that have made the effort to call me, thank you so much. That has been very special. And visited me!! Thank you, Kamyon!
During training it was really hard because everything was new and I had little contact with my former world. The few phone calls I received were through a bad connection, and when I finally had the chance to use Skype, nobody was available! I felt so far away from everybody. My mom was trying to figure out how she could call me and I had no idea if I would have a regular internet connection.
And here I am, two years later. It's weird how adjusted I am. The things that annoy me sill annoy me(Having to ride a bike everywhere, feeling trapped in the heat, putting up with too many cat calls, bad roads, stares, lack of social life), but my home feels like home. I feel like I have to uproot again soon and that's hard. It's the strangest feeling and I don't know quite how to describe it.
I was just reading the responses from my early blogs and saw how excited everyone was for me and I wanted to thank you. When I was sick, when I missed home or felt lonely, you are what helped pull me through this journey. I may have already written something very similar to this before, but I mean it with all of my heart. Thank you everyone! Thank you for following me on this adventure.
Thank you for celebrating my successes with me, encouraging me when I've felt down, listening to my complaints with patience, and believing in me even when I could not.
I'm going to need you when I'm stunned from culture shock. Love to everybody! Muchisimas gracias.
Oh, and I'm going to be working on uploading all of my photos from the past year to get caught up so you guys can at least know what I've been doing. I want to try to connect my two worlds somehow! In case you don't have facebook, here is a video from my birthday!
Some of my world in Paraguay. It was a very shaky ride, but maybe you can still see how beautiful it is here! We were on our way to a river for my birthday!
Con mucho amor, Natalia