One of the biggest challenges of life overseas, or in this case in the Peace Corps, is that as you are facing all of these great new adventures in a new culture with cool people, all the cool people you left behind in the States (or elsewhere) are having great adventures that you are missing. For example, my friend Brenda emailed me today to tell me she will be having her fourth child in just three short days. I have barely been a part of her third child's life and now I'm over here and won't even be in the same country (let alone the same state or city) for the delivery of this child. And sometimes this thought makes me very sad.
But maybe what makes me even more sad is the passing of my good friend Noah Ginnings at the age of 26 after a 7 year battle with brain cancer. I recieved the news Thursday afternoon via email from another good friend and have pretty much cried the last two days. It's hard to lose someone, but it's even harder when you have no one else to mourn with, no one who knows who you are talking about and what impact that person had on your life.
And these are only a few examples other friends have had babies, gotten married, found new jobs, started dating, broke up with the love of their lives, etc. And yet, what I do now, where I live now has become the new normal. I wake up to the knowledge that I am often more concerned with how my PC friends are doing, or if my counterpart's grandson has been released from the hospital, and how my Spanish is fairing in any given setting. All adventures. I guess sometimes it just feels like a shame that we only get to live one life at a time. And sometimes, I guess that's more than enough. But right now, for me, it's just not enough. I want to be able to hold my brand new niece or nephew (Brenda's child, yep, she's like a sister) shortly after s/he is born. I want to attend Noah's memorial service and cry my eyes out with others whose lives he touched. But I also want to be here hanging out the with the students at the school Virgen de las Merecedes and cracking jokes with my host family at dinner.
The next step, of course, is that I return to the States and I start to miss out on the adventures here in Peru. I find myself thinking about this more than I should while I'm still living here. I'll miss the graduation of my favorite class of students to work with, my host sisters will get married and have children - hopefully after they finish university, and my host grandparents will pass away (also hopefully after some time).
I did sign up for this, and the double life is one we live whether we want to or not. So, I guess I write this post to say "keep in touch." I still want to be a part of your lives, and I write this blog to keep you firmly in mine.
Yes, I live here. Don't hate.