After a week of tears and hugs and the kindest words said to me by the kindest friends, I have arrived in this tiny town in Texas.
I took three flights, two with one of my fellow Peace Corps adventurers, and then a third alone. I followed that up with a missed connection which resulted in a very disappointed family and a slumber party for me in the Atlanta airport with very friendly strangers. I finally arrived two mornings ago to the hugs you see above (thanks for the pic, Mom!) and a bag of Shipley’s donut holes.
There was a party that night with so many of my very favorite things like tostada fixings, chips and dip, pulled brisket sandwiches, watermelon, and fresh fruit and veg galore. It was quite the fatted calf. And goodness did I ever feel so welcomed in my life. Moments before the first guest arrived I threw up my maps of Armenia, Yerevan, Stepanavan, as well as pictures that so recently hung on my Stepanavan cottage wall, and then it was five hours of talking with old friends from church and down the street, new friends that have heard about Armenia through my mom and dad, and teenage friends of my sister, who like her, were just the tiniest little people before I left.
At church the next night I was asked to talk about Armenia and Stepanvan and World Vision and my dear friends that I carried here in my heart. And those kind Texas people asked all the right questions and before I knew it I’d already talked about Privolnoye and my World Vision crew and Meri and Greta and sights and sounds and tastes and dreams I have about returning to that place.
This morning I woke up in a room that my mom and tiniest sister spent hours preparing for me. The drawers are waiting to hold my newly machine washed clothes, and the walls are ready for pictures. My older sister and our oldest brother were both here for the party, hugging and smiling, refilling my glass and making sure there were helping me land, and when they left to go back to their houses I wanted to beg them to stay. We’re all here now, and my family is helping me land with ease. While I haven’t got all my emotions together I find myself not wanting them to leave my sight because believe it or not a whole world seemed to just blink out a few days ago, and my subconscious fears are wanting to scramble and hold on to everything I love.
And there it is, I just named the unnamed tension I feel in my chest. I just had a realization in this very moment that there Armenia went, and in a blink returned a world I love, and it just feels like the world is spinning faster than I remember it.
So happy my family is helping me adjust to this new whirling world. So much missing the rhythm of my life in Stepanvan.