So I made it back, safe and sound (thankfully) just in time for the holidays! Christmas with the family was great and it was nice to talk to hear the voices of friends on Skype and in the phone. It feels a bit strange to be back to be honest. The first couple days, I found myself extremely observant of my surroundings. It was strange to see people obeying traffic lights, clean, organized streets, and cars that were all new and shiny with not one scratch or dent in them. We were told that there’d be a bit of culture shock upon our return to the States and I was feeling it. When I got home and saw my family it was great, but I didn’t really know what to do with myself. I spent some time on the couch, on the phone catching up with old friends but some things just didn’t interest me as much, like watching certain shows on TV or even shopping (let’s hope that’s temporary!). A little bit of time has passed since I got back and I’m slowly easing back into the swing of things. I find myself thinking back to certain events on the trip and smiling or giggling to myself. I’ve thought a lot about the experience that I’ve just had and how much I’ve gained and how privileged I am to have experienced something so amazing. I talked about it a bit in my previous post, but I am very lucky to have met the people that I met and been in such unique, thought provoking environments. I won’t make this very long, but I really just wanted to acknowledge the people who have really made a difference in my life by helping me in my being able to take advantage of such an incredible opportunity.
So from my homestay mothers, brothers, sisters, and grandparents, to my country coordinators, to my traveling faculty and classmates, all of the wonderful lecturers, site visit hosts, instructors, to all of my mentors here in the States at Temple, Merck, Stanford, Fox Chase, my family and friends, the wonderful people at FEA and SIT, “thank you” doesn’t even begin to describe my gratitude. I am and will be forever grateful for the ways you have inspired me, challenged me, taught me, trained me, loved me, and prepared me for all that lies ahead. Thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU!