Here I am, back in my hometown again. I landed at Logan airport yesterday around 2 after nearly 20 hours of travelling. My family was there to pick me up: my mom, my dad, my fiancée’s mom, and my fiancée Donny. Seeing them all again after so much time was unreal, I felt like I was in a dream. But that could have been the lack of sleep as well. Coming home was a whirl of emotions, but now that I’m settled back into my fiancée’s house with him it feels like I never left.
My journey home began Sunday at 4, when my host family (including Toutín the dog) and I all piled into the car to go to the airport. I checked my suitcase and we said a difficult goodbye. It was hard to leave them, they made my time there so wonderful and complete. They were always there to explain things to me, to be there for me in the good and the bad, always willing to listen and help. I hope I stay in contact with them all. They are all such wonderful smart people, and I hope the best for them all.
After navigating the airport and security successful, I was finally on board and ready for takeoff. It wasn’t until the plane began to taxi to the runway that I really cried. I had choked up saying goodbye to my family but at takeoff I finally cried, staring out of the window for one last look at this country that has been my home for five months, my pacha mama. I thought about my friends, the ones already flying away and those still on Chilean soil. I wondered if one of those little twinkling lights was my host family’s house, or Isa’s or Oscar’s or Macarena’s. I thought about the routines that I couldn’t pack into a suitcase, like buying an Inca Cola on the way home at the Big John or fajitas for lunch. I’ll miss family dinners and watching my host brothers play Call of Duty. I know they are going to grow up to be the best fathers ever from all the practice at explaining things! I’ll miss my host mom singing as she tidies, Toutin jumping up to meet me almost 4 feet up like a kangaroo. I’ll miss Saturdays with Oscar and Maca, I’ll miss being surrounded by Spanish. I have to come back, and I have to keep my Spanish up.
When we touched down on US soil in Atlanta, Georgia ten hours later I was smiling, smiling because I realized I was finally going to see my family and my fiancée after so much time away. They had supported me and been there for me for the whole experience, had sent advice and good wishes and sympathy and money when I needed it. I made it through customs and the second security check and then checked myself into the Delta Sky Lounge for some complementary snacks and tea and a nap, curled up in one of the big armchairs. The flight from Atlanta to Boston felt like it took two seconds, I read the Condorito comic that Oscar and Macarena got me on the way and was proud to understand most of the jokes.
The moment when I came out of the gate and saw my welcome committee waiting for me was unreal. There were kisses and hugs and tears but all very happy. Donny brought me roses!
We went for lunch in Boston, I had New England clam chowder in a bread bowl and it was divine. Finally after meeting up with many friends and family and neighbors I headed home with Donny to our house, were I took a much-needed nap and just allowed myself to feel at home. I never really appreciated how beautiful our little town is until now, and while everyone else complains I am glorying in the summer heat.
I still have much to share and I will keep posting, but for now Welcome Home to me!