The One Where She’s Been Here for 6 Months and Goes to Spain

6 fucking months.  That’s a long time.  And oddly enough also like not very long. Lets think about other things in the stretch of six months.  If a relationship lasts 6 months it’s fairly short, because the obvious goal is to find a soul mate and live with them forever because I mean who likes dating and meeting new people (lolololol). If you have a cold for 6 months you’re like dead.  If you’re pregnant for 6 months that is a long time but if you give birth at 6 months that is incredibly early.  If you have a job for only six months that’s pretty bad.  So there are varying degrees of what 6 months means.  There are days when I’m here and it feels like I have lived here my whole life and there are other days when it feels like we landed yesterday.  Something about living here is that the days go slow but the time goes fast.  So usually I can’t believe how long I’ve been here when it feels like about two seconds.

During one of our first trainings we’re given a chart and this maps out our emotions over the time that we’re here based on what other volunteers have experienced.  At first I thought this was a little ridiculous, of course my feelings won’t be the same as someone else’s I’m my own person goddamn it. But I have actually followed this emotional track pretty much to the T.  I’ve felt ups and downs and have basically followed this chart my whole time here.  So seeing the huge dip in feelings on the sixth month made a lot of sense when I looked at the chart again wondering why my October was so awful.  With huge issues at school and personal problems going on at home it felt like everything crashing down at once.  So a trip to Spain with one of my best friends could not have come at a better time.

I went to Spain when I was in high school and I of course loved it but this second trip made me realize that I definitely didn’t appreciate it the way I should have.  I always kind of thought I had been to Spain so I probably wouldn’t go again but I’m so glad that I did.  It felt fresh and new and different.  Of course going with one friend instead of a herd of high school students and also being of legal drinking age all help make the experience a little different/better in every single way.  Being able to put my feet in the ocean was really all the refresh that I needed in order to come back here and work.  There’s a quote by JFK that I absolutely love and always have loved,

“I really don’t know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it’s because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it’s because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.”

Being by the ocean definitely helped and also like eating a shit ton of cheese and pork and going to Sephora.  Also being back in an established country felt weird and different even after only being in KG for six months (and quite frankly I live in one of the more developed area so I can’t even begin to complain).  Having anything I needed at my fingertips again felt crazy and made me realized a lot of things.  It helped me to realize some of the things I want to do while I’m in KG.  I have projects that I want to write and I have women’s rights work that I want to do.  All these different projects and ideas that I have that I need to get started.  I’ve been there for 6 months.  Roughly a fourth of my time.  While I’ve put some things in motion it was kind of a realization that yeah I’ve got shit to do.  I want to help women feel empowered and I want to teach them what I know.  I want to help my students and I want my best students to be conversational.  I have all these plans and I’m going to make them happen.

Now we had planned our trip so we could fly home and be here in time for Halloween.  Unfortunately, we missed our connecting flight because of a delay and even after Home Alone running through the Istanbul airport we just missed our flight (even though the prompter said Last Call).  So after spending a couple hours dealing with shitty airport employees and trying to do anything possible to get a flight back to KG for Halloween we ended up having to spend the day in Istanbul.  Which turned out to be very nice, we stayed in a nice hotel and had our meals comped so we were able to relax in robes all day but of course were still really sad about missing Halloween.

Coming home is of course mixed feelings.  I have never been sad to be back in KG I was simply sad to not be in Spain anymore.  Luckily I had Ethan waiting for me in Bishkek so I got to see him before going back to site which is always the kind of recharge my heart and mind need.  The welcome home I received from my family and my students and Counter Part really made it better to be back.  I’ve gotten to the point where when I return to site and in this case KG I say I’m going home.  And after six months that’s what it is, I’m home.  So I feel better after my six month slump and I’m feeling like myself again after the trip.  I have a lot planned for the next couple months and I’m ready to dig in for the long haul and Winter is Coming.


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