Final Thoughts

Well...I'm home! I have been for just over a month now. I arrived back home, safe and sound on August 13th. The flights went beautifully, everything was on time (early even!) and we had no problems whatsoever. My one week at home was BUSY - a wedding to attend, preparation for back to school, floor decorations (buying and prep work) for SJ Residence, haircut, dentist, shopping....AHHH! It was so nice being home though and even though I was busy I still managed to see my friends and enjoy myself.

Some concluding remarks: This summer was amazing. I had this fantastic opportunity to travel, learn a new language,experience poverty, discover an entirely new world, and overall remove myself from everything that is familiar. I have my CT scans from my little 'incident' this summer posted on my window in my room; everyone that visits me sees it and asks me about it so I get to tell them about my summer (great conversation starter). I don't regret or wish different anything about this summer because in some way I learned from each experience. Even the sickness part. The independence is one aspect that I can't get over...the fact that we were literally on our own, under the supervision and care of no one, getting to travel throughout the country - relying only on our abilities and small knowledge of the language. If we got lost, we got lost; if we were on the wrong bus, well then we went somewhere else. It's almost overwhelming to me to think about that aspect of the summer, mostly because I'm not used to that type of freedom. It was thrillingly scary and exciting.

In terms of reintegrating back into the North American lifestyle, I honestly didn't have much difficulty. I don't think I experienced the "shock" of coming back. This worries me a little because I feel like it means that I didn't experience my summer correctly...that I wasn't remote enough or subject to enough poverty or there wasn't enough change. It could just mean that I handle things well...I don't know. Someone was telling me about their time reintegrating - they said that they were at a festival and suddenly started crying because they weren't used to seeing people having money to spend. This made me realize something: A lot of what people say they realize upon their return is stuff that I already knew or was trying to do. I've never been one to just spend my money on anything (except ice cream) - I've always saved it and put it in the bank. I would like to think of myself as a minimal consumer, not influenced much by consumerism and the need to have everything glitzy, shiny and new. I recycle and try to compost where possible; I am concerned for our environment and the way in which it is abused and destroyed. I'm a vegetarian so I know that produce is more sustainable for the impoverished than trying to raise animals for food. I agree with fair trade. Mostly, I try to be down to earth and aware of these types of factors that are affecting everyone. In my mind, I was already living the way I want to be living - so it was like I was just coming back to it with renewed vigor, if anything, for my beliefs.

One aspect of this summer is that I want to become more politically aware, of both international and at home politics. The fact that I was so close to the Honduran coup and resulting 'revolution' this summer really drove home this desire. I realized I really know nothing about Canadian and international politics and this ignorance on my part must be overcome.

I want to thank everyone for coming on this journey with me this summer and supporting me with your comments and thoughts. I really appreciated it and I hope that you were able to learn and experience along side me.

Nicaragua gave me a truly remarkable time that I will never forget.


rtaggart0305 said...

Hi Marissa,

Would it be okay to say how very proud we are of you? You showed great courage leaving your world behind to experience the summer you did.
One thing we’d like to add is that it shows us we did alright bringing you up. We always knew you were an amazing person and we’ve always wanted to give you every opportunity to be the person you want to be. We are very happy you took it and showed us the strength you have inside. We know the future will be bright for you and, in our mind, that’s the job parents are supposed to do. We love you very much!

Mom and Dad

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