Friday, June 24, 2005

Reverse culture shock 

Day one back in the world

Ah, to be actually online again with my very own laptop! I thought that last night's post would bring closure to the event, but it seems that an epilogue is in order.

I didn't describe the closing ceremonies too much, but they were very much like a graduation. After the program we hung around and schmoozed and a number of people were taking pictures. (One of my classmates even had a video camera and interviewed everybody.) Finally the reception wound down and we headed back to the room. I wrote my post while the girls went through their bedtime rituals. I then decided to mosey over to the campus chapel for the 10 pm evening prayer service. It seemed like it would be a nice cap to the day and besides, I wanted to enjoy one more midwest summer night. (The low humidity here in Seattle makes for some chilly evenings.) I ran into a number of the class of '05--I think about half of us were out and about that night. There were tears and hugs and "let's keep in touch". As I made my way back to our room, I thought that it was a rather nice end to the whole experience.

Of course, I saw a number of those folks again, at breakfast. Only about a third of our total number this time, however. The rest of the morning saw a dwindling of our numbers as the Sauerkraut van ferried people to the airport. We were in the last run, which included four people other than ourselves. We got dropped off at the good ol' Humphrey terminal and it was just us and Harriet, an EFL teacher headed to Poland. As the van pulled away, I gave her a hug and wished her well. She pointed out that she would be right behind us in the check-in line. Oh, well. Guess I got caught up in all the leave taking. Anyway, we all made it through security (Man, was it ever tight. Forget Texas--don't mess with Minnesota.) and then since we had time and were hungry, we had one more lunch together. Eventually our number came up, however. We made our final farewell and boarded the plane.

The flight home was uneventful. We inquired both at the Sun Country and SeaTac airport lost and found, but whoever had our camera on the 12th must have lost it again. That sucked, but what can you do? I've still got my good ol' Retina and Poodlepums has her camera, so the family isn't suffering.

Well, not over that, anyway. Our arrival at home was somewhat depressing for me. I hadn't thought much beyond making some blog entries and painting the bedroom. Had I
really thought about it, I might have considered that not only would I have a pile of mail to wade through, but I'd also need to file away all the nice papers I was given during training. And, of course, there was a message on the machine from work, asking me to call in if I was available for overtime. Guilt trip #43 returns. sigh. In training we talked about reverse culture shock--when the person who has been residing overseas comes back to their home culture and is overwhelmed by those things they haven't had to deal with. Guess I got a small taste of that tonight. Oh, well, what can you do? Back to work....