Home. I’m home. I’ve been back in Calgary for just over a week now, and I must say that it’s great to be home. I was greeted with a “surprise” party on my first day back, and it was really great to see so many of the people I’ve missed for the last four months.
People have asked me if I’ve experienced any reverse culture shock yet. Thankfully, I haven’t been overwhelmed by the realities of home again, but I definitely see a lot of things in a different light. At my parents house last week, I realized there were five cars in the front driveway for the seven people in the house. I understand why that is… it’s all but a necessity for most people to have their own vehicle to get around Calgary. But it felt like wealth. Then, as we exchanged gifts, I once again felt that we are truly rich in material terms. It was strange, because our family is not wealthy by Canadian terms, but my point of view has changed; it has expanded to fit all the rural Zambians I met, and those I understand to exist through my interactions in Zambia.
I am excited to stay in Calgary for the next while. I missed the friends and family that fill this whole city for me. I missed the comfort of being surrounded by familiar people, language, and attitudes. At the same time, as I said, my viewpoint and my ideas have changed, and I don’t want to lose the perspective I’ve developed. I’m looking forward to connecting and contributing in a fuller way to the EWB Calgary Pro Chapter, to share my perspectives and to preserve them.
If you’ve had a chance to chat with me since my return, I hope I was able to share something with you that made you feel like you were there in Zambia for a brief moment. If not, well, keep talking to me! I’m gradually figuring out how to share the experiences I had, and I really do enjoy talking about it. Keep asking me questions :). And I’d also like to say thanks to everyone who supported my while I was away. Your phone calls, emails and comments on my blog posts helped me to feel like my life in Canada still existed; they made me feel all warm and fuzzy.
As for this blog, I will continue to write my thoughts about development and what we’re doing as EWB in Canada. If you’re interested, I’d recommend subscribing to the blog so that you get email notifications of a post, as the posts will most likely decrease in frequency.
Thanks again to all who followed my journey in Zambia! I hope I was able to share interesting insights along the way.