Here I am, currently alive in the land of the free and the home of the chili dog, and I haven’t posted a stitch in two weeks. This is not because I don’t have the time. I have plenty of time. This is because I am lost in the swirl, I think. This has happened to me a few times (example).
I think I didn’t quite understand that when I came to the US for surgery, I came for SURGERY. Knock you off your feet, heavy meds and lots of bed SURGERY. For some reason I had it in mind that I would get a couple holes in my knees and then walk right on through DC. No, I am here in the Capital until the first week of April, getting my knee back to bending.
I am not sure I can dig very deep right now and tell you how my tiny soul is handling being back in the US. Since DC isn’t home it feels at once familiar and foreign. To keep it simple, here are some things that have been a part of the last three weeks:
-Velveeta. Chips and Queso with a soul friend from high school and her fiance. After a Top Chef marathon.
-A lot of hours alone. I have cherished time I’ve gotten to spend with friends I have here in the area. But they have lives to get to, and my life is here in the hotel. After not being able to stomach more than one commercial break, after being too drowsy to stay awake reading, and after battling the hotel’s crappy internet and losing, I am pretty sure I am one good leg away from turning into the “Yellow Wallpaper” lady.
-Some new PCV friends have made things more interesting. I’ve met volunteers currently on medevac from Honduras, Peru, South Africa, Philippines, and Ukraine, and I should be getting a roommate this weekend from Kenya.
-I have been meeting some Peace Corps VIPs including Congressman Sam Farr, a Peace Corps founding father Senator Harris Wofford, and Peace Corps Deputy Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet. And today I was asked to join a small group of medevaced PCVs for a meeting with Peace Corps Director Aaron Williams. Some major Peace Corps hobnobbing going on.
-Leg raises. Heel slides. Ankle pumps. Ice the knee. Repeat.
Overall, while I am thankful for some great medical care, when I sit alone I get a great sense of being uprooted from my life, from a life of rhythms into which I had comfortably sunk, from a life of sounds and sights and smells and textures and tastes which I still know despite feeling so far removed.
Most of all, I am thankful that I am feeling this now with a chance to return to Armenia and drink it all in before my service really comes to an end.