Saturday, June 8, 2013

1 year - The Foreign Country Isn't So Foreign Anymore

The gravity of this post really hasn't hit me yet.  While I've been here in Pohnpei, my planet has been busy making a whole revolution around our sun.  We've both been very busy the earth and I.

This year, and especially these last 5 months, has been the most intense personal growth period of my life.  I've learned to be more at ease with my personality and to take on life with a sense of I can control my situation more.  That's one of the reasons why I wanted to be a volunteer, and I feel like I've been a rock tumbling down a river becoming more smooth and refined as I meander down.  I feel comfortable.  I feel great.  I feel like Nick.

During this past year, I've been through hell, heaven, and thousands of "meh..." days.  Bacteria have become my new best friends, cold showers are actually relaxing, and the Pohnpeian language has gone from being something unpronounceable to being a social tool I use to connect with people (especially the ladies ;)).  Also, some serious cognitive dissonances have become common mental thought processes for me.  Dogs, for one, can be hit and fed next to nothing, but I can still go play and pet them.  I can go eat a hamburger in town and then instantly go to cooking rice on an outside fire without thinking twice.  Certain foods like bacon and ice cream (a good combination I must say) are now scavenging opportunities instead of culinary choices like in the States.  Socially, I can talk with Americans for hours about personal issues and in the next hour I can go back to traditional Pohnpeian society and not discuss feelings for days.

I've changed.

But I've changed mostly for good, and that feeling is a huge accomplishment for me.

There are so many misunderstandings, dangerous excursions, and accomplishments that have been jam packed into 2012-2013.  I can't do them all justice, and that sucks.

The mental unspoken question that's going through my mind is "Would you choose Peace Corps again knowing what you know now?".  Yes, no doubt.

I've got another whole year to go.  Here's to the past, and here's to the adventure that lies ahead of me.

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