From the moment I saw Rafael and Zaida waiting for me at the airport, to right now as I sit on the couch and watch Spanish TV with my host sister Ruth, being here has just felt normal and right. It’s so unreal to sit in a motocar again, speeding through the streets of Pucallpa and Yarina. From the cold showers to the smoky smell to my consistently dirty feet, it’s all so familiar.
The language has slipped from my grasp, but it’s slowly coming back. Though I can understand quite a bit of what I hear, responding is a challenge. Nevertheless, I’ve been able to catch up with my host family and the friends who have dropped by thus far.
We tried to plan some of my class times, etc, yesterday, but I was pretty overwhelmed after traveling and not sleeping much. We ended up deciding to figure everything out on Sunday – at least as much as you can “figure everything out” in Pucallpa.
Last night we went to Pedro and Ruth’s school for the Father’s Day program, which consisted of the fathers of all the students playing soccer, and the kids doing some dances. Monica and Orestes were there with their kids, so I held baby Priscilla and talked to Monica through most of it. Nathaniel, the alm0st-three-year-old, isn’t scared of me anymore. WIN. Once they left, I talked with Pedro and one of his classmates for a while.
As I fell asleep last night, I could not believe I had only been here for a day. I felt settled in, normal, RIGHT. Sure, I was sweating from every possible pore, but even that felt normal. I slept in til after 11 today, but it was okay because Ruth and Pedro did too. Pedro and I walked down the road to the bodega to buy some coffee, and we all ate lunch together. We’re headed to the church soon for a practice for the Father’s Day program, and I’ll get to see lots more of “my” people.
Welcome home, Alyssa, welcome home.