Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Arriving in Ecuador

Well, I've made it.

I arrived in Quito around 1 A.M. this morning. It wasn't the most enjoyable trip that I've had, but I can't complain either. My last flight left an hour and fifteen minutes late, and then couldn't land in Quito for a while due to fog, and so we circled for 30 -45 minutes waiting for the weather to clear up a bit. I was bummed to miss out on watching the many city lights appear as we landed, but I was so thankfully to finally be landing.

It's different being here than I thought it would be. It's been so great to see my family. After almost 3 months I was so happy to see them.

The house my family lives in now is actually the house that I grew up in. Last year when they decided to return to Ecuador for another three years, the couple that had bought our house when we left in 2006 asked them if they would like to rent the house. It's a very large house, and the couple decided that they didn't need all three floors of it. So, they turned the main floor into their own apartment, and then turned the second floor and the third floor into a second apartment.

My family now lives in the upstairs part. In a way, it feels so weird to be back in this house. It looks completely different, but there are certain things that really remind me of growing up. The room I'm staying in is exactly where I used to play my favorite game: house. While growing up, we kept most of our toys in the attic (or the third floor). When I used to live here, the attic was just one big open room. I would grab some sheets, hang them up, and make my own little house in the attic. I would feed my babies, dress my babies, and love on my babies. At the end of the day I would always kiss my husband hello, my husband being the wood pillar holding up the roof. I loved this game. I could play for hours. When I left Ecuador in 2006, I never thought I would be back... much less staying in my old house.

All in all, it's been fun coming "home" and getting a glimpse into the way my family lives. One thing I didn't realize was the heartache that would consume me. I expect to get this same heartache when I leave in 3 1/2 weeks, but I wasn't expecting to get it now. I wasn't expecting to have such a desire to show the ones I love, the ones I left back in the Springs, the life I used to lead. I wasn't expecting to want so badly to show others my old home, the woods in the back yard, or the orphanage down the street.

I really just feel oddly disconnected though. This was my home for a long time. My family is here, but I can't really say I feel as though I belong. I know that this is only my first day back, and with time things will change. In a few days I will have seen old friends and met many new people. I will be reminded why I love Ecuador so. I can also say that when I return home to the Springs, my heart will feel sad. My heart will have the desire to stay longer, because I know I will be leaving people I love, and I will miss them dearly.

One thing my sister and I talk about quite often is that no matter where we go, we will always miss someone dearly. If I'm here in Ecuador, I will miss my close friends in Colorado Springs, but if I return to Colorado Springs, I will be missing my family here in Ecuador. I've realized that it's something you get used to. You get used to missing people, and when you are given the privilege to see those people again, and when you say goodbye to those people that sharp ache starts right back up when you leave, but it's just something you learn to live with. It's not a bad thing to be missing people, it just means that you love many people around the world, and that usually means that they love you back.

And I'm not trying to sound as though I'm complaining, and I'm not trying to sound negative. I'm just realizing that this is how life is. This is how it will always be.

I remember when I was younger, my dad used to travel a lot. He would travel about once a month for a week or more. I used to think that it would be something I would get used to. I used to think that when I saw his bags packed and waiting by the door enough times that I would get used to it and not feel so sad about him leaving. Time and time again though I felt the same feeling, and it took me a long time to realize that this will happen throughout my life. At times, I don't even know if I actually realize it, because tonight when I suddenly realized that I was missing people back home, I was surprised.

 I know as the days pass I will become more comfortable with the ache in my heart, and it will be used for good. Whether it's to help me sympathize for someone, or to help give me a glimpse into someone's life and the way that they may feel all the time, it is something that can be used for good.

I'm sure I will have a wonderful time in Ecuador. I finally have time to read, sleep, and enjoy some good quality time with my family. I know as Christmas nears things will become busier. I know I will enjoy seeing the many sights of Ecuador, and I will enjoy seeing my church family here. I will enjoy the new people, and places that I will be able to photograph.

I see these next few weeks as a really good thing. I have been blessed.

I think all of this just shows me how God really does know what's best for me. 5 1/2 years ago I left my home. I left the only thing I knew. I left Ecuador. I remember thinking that my life would never be the same, and I remember believing that things would be better if I just stayed in Ecuador. I remember that my heart felt completely and utterly broken. Now I realize how blessed I have been. My life would be so different, and so dull if I had stayed in Ecuador. I would be a completely different person. I wouldn't have met the many friends I have met, and I wouldn't have been pushed out of my comfort zone... because at times, to me, being in the U.S. is pushing me out of my comfort zone. Yet, I have been blessed to return to Ecuador almost yearly since I left, and I have been blessed to be able to see the growth and the maturity that has come from the massive change of that move.

I know I have said this before, but I mean it every time.

God is good. I am undeserving.


Rach said...

Awww, I know what you mean. It is hard to not belong. But someday, you will have your own little family, with a husband and sweet baby, and then you will know where your home is--wherever they are. :)

Karin said...

I've understood these feelings, too, Christina. And I think Rachel is exactly right on. I hope you're able to reconnect and even strike up some new friendships during your visit.