Still Struggling

17 Apr
My home in high up Cusco surrounded by green, lush mountains

I am still struggling to get the hang of blogging about my experiences. For how does one describe the most challenging, life changing and best moments of my life? How do I take all of my memories and put it on paper in a way that others can understand and hopefully relate. The last couple of months were a whirlwind of emotion and newness. I met unforgettable people, which cause me to continually question when and if I will ever see them again. It is still hard being back. I wonder if this feeling will ever go away?

I went to Cusco, volunteered and left. While they continue to live in their mud brick homes waiting for a new batch of volunteers. I wonder if they think about me everyday, like I think of them. It is hard when there is no way of communicating with them. In the day and age where communication with my international friends is easily facilitated through Facebook and Skype, I have no means of this kind of communication with the people in the villages that I grew to love like my own family.

I promised Doris, my favourite 9-year-old girl from Quilla Huata, that I’d be back in three years. Was that foolish? I have every intention of returning but overtime things can change. Volunteering goes far beyond the five allocated weeks. Being immersed in a rich culture was difficult yet fulfilling, satisfying yet tiring. Long after returning to Sydney, the experience still enriches me yet leaves me with a longing to be back in the lush mountains. I miss the hard labour, early mornings, sore muscles, the eager kids’ hugs, the food and everything else. The songs that I heard over there now have new meaning when I hear it here. It seems that every little thing reminds me of Cusco.

Sometimes I feel like I am the only one out of my friends who went that still feels unsettled here. They don’t talk about Peru as much anymore. I know they miss it too but I somehow feel on my own right now. I frantically stalk Peru’s Challenge’s (the NGO that I worked for) website, Facebook and Twitter page just to feel like I am still a part of what goes on.

Overlooking Cusco

Doris on the first day

Doris and I on the last day

How did you guys cope when you returned from your trip? Or have you? Are you like me, knowing that your time here is just space and time filler until you can return?

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2 Responses to “Still Struggling”

  1. prupodum April 19, 2011 at 12:05 am #

    Coping was definitely hard when I returned, there was a real sense of loneliness that I hadn’t felt for a long time.
    But your last line – I have to disagree with, I don’t feel that my time here is just space/time filler until I can return, I was glad I went to India, but glad to leave.
    When my India time was coming to an end I felt really ready to head home, I was feeling grounded and ready to get head first into uni and had developed a much deeper appreciation (and confusion) for things back home.
    I told some people I would return, and I meant it, but now I don’t know if that’s going to happen.. or if I will make it happen!

  2. angelenepenguin April 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm #

    Thank you for replying Pru! And I am glad to know that someone else felt that sense of loneliness. I am also glad to know that you feel grounded and settled here, India sounded like an amazing experience.
    I think as each day passes, I am getting that little bit better. Things are settling down and seem right again and what was just going through the motions since returning has purpose again. So hopefully (soon!), being in Sydney won’t be empty until I return but fulfilling so that when I return, I have something more to give.

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