The following is a journal entry on December 5th, 2011.
December 5th, 2011.
The sun is beating down, and as usual, it feels like it’s going to be a blistering hot, humid day. It should feel wrong, this abnormally long summer. But it doesn’t; it feels right; it feels like home. Looking back at the small black photo album I brought to show my host-family my real family, it seems a world away. I see a different era, a different me. I feel that as I look at pictures of myself in a blazer, tie, dress shirt; the whole private school ensemble, that I don’t recognize the face that is smiling back up at me. I miss the world I left, and everyone in it, but at the same time, life feels more real right here and now, than I could ever imagine the one at “home” being. Ecuador, the Caverns, are my home now. This is my family now. These are my friends now. This is my life. I’m living differently, but it feels more real than the phantasmal touch of snow on my face or hands, or the crunch of Autumn’s leaves under my feet. The sounds of night and the bright light of the moon have changed. As night arrives I expect thick, obscuring clouds; the land illuminated only slightly by the hidden stars and moon. The rushing of water from the caverns and the warm glow of the sun now greet me every day along with the scrabble of pebbles under my bare feet. Carpet and hot showers are a fading memory, now replaced by the cooling touch of concrete and refreshingly (sometimes anyhow) cold water accompanied by a blast of humid heat when the water is turned off. For now, this is my life, my reality.