NOSTALGIA, AFTER ALL

Khwanhatai Kongkapetch - Ecuador


April 24, 2016

6th April, 2016. 
I remember on that day I didn't have the feeling that I was leaving at all even though my host mother's eyes were so red because she'd been crying. I thought I would break down on that day, but I didn't. I thought it would hit me during the times of Training Seminar 2 or Re-Entry Training back in California but I didn't. I was confused, but I thought maybe it might not happen, but that's fine. At least, I knew my 8 months in Ecuador was real and I had immersed enough to say it was everything I wanted it to be. 
Finally, 18 days after I've left my host community back in Ecuador. 
It hit me today.
It hit me really hard too.
It was the first time since I arrived in Thailand that I'll be going to the shopping mall, mainly because I've left so many clothes for my host family and I didn't have any summer clothes left with me (and it's 110F here) so I kind of in need to buy new clothes. 
I was walking pass a sport wear shop and I thought of my two host brothers when they wore their football uniforms to go to football school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sometimes my host mother wouldn’t let my younger brother go to the class if he doesn’t finish his lunch. However, their uniforms are really pretty and it’s in my favorite color, blue. 

My host brother and his football team
Today is Sunday here and it most likely getting to Monday there in Ecuador, I was wondering if my younger brother would finish his lunch and would my mom let him go to the class. I was the one who in charge of dropping them off at the school, but now it would be my mom, I wonder how’d she feels to have to do the job that she hadn’t been doing it for a long time or at least when I was there. Because I am now missing dropping them off at their football class three times a week so much, so so much.
I was walking through a really cool cap shop, there were tons of that kind of baseball flat caps that really, really popular in Ecuador. I thought of my host brother and I thought of my host uncle (he’s just 18 and loves to wear that flat cap!). I remember I had never seen my host uncle without cap until my last 2 weeks in my community and I was so confused for maybe 10 seconds because I wasn’t sure who he was. 
 

​My host uncle was holding my host cousin during her 1st year and 4th (month) birthday
I don’t have any young siblings or cousins back in my country but in Ecuador. I had a ton. Today I was walking through the kids zone in the mall and saw a really nice shirt for kids, I went in, checked it out and was considering buying them and I also saw a really tiny pair of leggings with would perfectly fit my host cousin who will be turning 2 in October. I could also buy smaller sizes for my other cousins too, they love running to me when I visit their house.
 

​My brothers and cousins outside of my house
I knew this may sound really funny, but I thought I’ll just bring it home and give it to my host brother and I’ll walk down the hill to my uncle’s house to give that leggings to my little cousin. I totally forgot that I wasn’t there anymore. I am not in that place where I can just go home and see them anymore. I was thinking about sending them to Ecuador because the price I have in my hands here consider extremely cheap for this good quality clothes, comparing with what they have to pay for and the quality they get in Ecuador then I realized that my family doesn’t have a mailing address, even if they had one. There’s no way the postman will find my house. Sending them a package doesn't sound like a possible option for me.
 
Everything I see I think of them.
The feelings of me being there, with them, still so fresh. 
Fresh enough so that I can just call it to feel.
I still feel like I was there since the day I left. I didn't feel like I'm back in my "real" home. Where have I been during these 18 days?
I wasn't there, but I wasn't here either.
 
It took me 18 days to make me realized.
That I am not there anymore, I am not.
And I might not see them again. I might not.      
This is not easy as I thought it would be.
Let the transition begins,
Ploy Kongkapetch

Khwanhatai Kongkapetch