Where to start. The short story? Coming home felt good but it felt like a vacation. It was hard for me to believe I wasn't moving back to the village after a couple of weeks.
At first, I really needed "alone time". A chance for privacy, television and WIFI. Much like vacations in New Zealand. Then it began to sink in that I was home for good.
I underestimated my tolerance for ambiguity. No home. No car. No job. The big game changer was that the tenant in my home didn't renew her lease at the end of November. That made the decision of where to live a bit tougher.
After a few weeks, during which I decided to move back into my house and bought a car, I headed to Tucson, Arizona, my hometown. It was great to go "home" and see old friends and eat the Mexican food that I grew up (and out) on.
I flew back into Florida on Tuesday night. Today, I met the movers at my house and started unpacking as they moved all my stuff back in. Luckily, I got rid of a lot of stuff before I left for Samoa. That should make unpacking easier.
Do I miss Samoa? Yes and no. I miss my friends and the kids. I miss the beauty. I don't miss the limited diet, the bugs, cold showers, etc. I'm loving the freedom of being able to go out at any hour of the day or night. I'm enjoying the fact that no one is watching me and commenting on what I'm doing.
I'm not so wild about having so many mirrors.
I love grocery stores and having restaurants everywhere. Restaurants that sell more than fried chicken and french fries.
I'm working on not constantly making comparisons between Samoa and the United States and that's getting easier. Luckily, I'm still finding the huge number of choices when shopping a bit off-putting. That makes it hard to shop, which is good for my wallet.
I'll be busy unpacking and preparing for the holidays over the next week, but promise to work on getting photos loaded.
In the meantime, I hope you'll join me in saying a prayer for those impacted by cyclone Evan. Apia was hard hit and according to News Australia, the storm is expected to turn and hit again. My heart goes out to all those impacted.