Monday, February 13, 2012

Visiting Home

I've now been home for a week now, and it feels good.

Seeing family and friends and catching up has been a really rejuvenating experience.  It's been such a nice feeling sleeping in my own bed, getting home cooked meals, and being around everything that is familiar to me once again.  My time so far has involved watching TV with my dad, visiting the mall with friends, a few Magic marathons, a birthday breakfast with my brother and sister in law, catching up with the Rotary Youth Exchange folks that sent me to Germany in high school, and going out to eat with friends.

It's a strange albeit nice feeling being back.  I love the cheap prices and seemingly endless variety that I can get when shopping at the food store or at Target, and the same goes for buying clothing here.  A 10 oz bottle of sunblock for 5 bucks?  Dress socks for a dollar a pair?  Binders for a few dollars each?  I'll take it.  All of it.  As long as it all fits in my luggage when I come back.

My time has also been taken up by new technology: a new laptop with an integrated webcam and mic (which is now perfect for catching up with family and friends via Skype) and a Kindle Fire.  Since I won't be able to access the free TVs and movies in Santiago I've been taking full advantage of the streaming content and have been watching The Wonder Years from the first episode.

Over the years I've built up a huge number of books, textbooks, and general resources for teaching.  I've also put off cleaning through them and my personal possessions each time I've been home, but now I'm slowly sorting through things.  It's amazing how much you can accumulate without realizing it, and going through it brings back a flood of memories of all different types of events over the years: middle school and high school awards, yearbooks, pictures and photo albums from trips, journals, books from my childhood, and the list goes on and on.

And of course I've been enjoying the food.  Here are some pictures of what I've had to eat since I've been home:

A pizza steak

Parmasean crusted chicken with some pasta and tomato salad

apple crumb pie a la mode

some food that I've missed

a made to order salad (I wish there were more of these!)

What's a visit to the mall without going to Cinnabon at least once?

A homemade meal of pork chops, mashed potatoes, spaetzle, and corn.  And yes, I'm aware that that's a lot of starch and carbs for one meal!

Chik Fil-A!

A meatball sandwich from Wawa.

Order out Chinese to help with the hunger after a Magic marathon

I wish they had Belgian waffles in Chile.
I'm very fortunate to be able to visit friends in Los Angeles, and I'll be boarding the plane to go there in less than 2 days!  Have a Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

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