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I was very home sick last year, I had just gotten my appendix out and I was learning how to make new friends while living and working with them at the same time. This year is different. Hurricane Sandy threw me for a doozy but as things have settled down so has my homesickness. I’m a bit behind on US stuff- Most of the time I can’t even check anything besides my email. Social Networks and skype are blocked at school due to a shortage of bandwidth and the internet may be out at home or not strong enough to use skype or twitter. I’m ok with it, but I wonder if others that feel they need the updates can understand.

I’m excited for a peppermint mocha at Starbucks,  long distance calls without my phone shutting off because I won’t be using a pay-as-you go phone, sitting on the couch watching ridiculous mind numbing cable to the light of our christmas tree, take out chinese food, checking my email in 2 minutes because it loads in a millisecond, movie theaters, riding my bicycle, going through a drive through, taking public transportation into the city, a new seasonal change, knowing the water will be on at anytime of the day any day of the week, predictability of drivers, some Sandy relief help and all that normal christmasy family stuff…. all things I don’t have in Cameroon.

All things I like but don’t always miss when I’m abroad. What’s cool though is the appreciation I get to feel. I felt it last year, but this year I don’t feel the need for all this stuff as much and it seems to bring out whats most important to me. Relaxing!… oh yeah family is up there too..

Yay Christmas, Yay planes, Yay USA vacation!

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Leaving Cameroon is both exciting and surprisingly nerve wracking. I’ve almost gotten used to this lifestyle, almost. What is it going to be like to go back to a place where everything is extremely accessible and I blend in? I’ve been living by myself in a fairly quiet apartment. At home there are people coming in and out of the house pretty regularly, my parents who I love dearly, want to know my plans so they can coordinate, and I am not integrated into peoples lives as I was 5 months ago- people have to make room. When I lived in New York it was easy to visit home, only being and hour away. When I lived in Italy, my family came to visit me. This is the first time I will really be ‘visiting’.

What am I really looking forward to?

New York, you have no idea how amazing that city is until you become comfortable there. My museums, which I believe got me through the stress of college, are safely the same as I left them and so is Cafe Fiorello’s. I plan on ice skating and spending New Years with my friends and seeing a Broadway show with my mom. I am excited about what it will feel like to be there and after living in Cameroon the traffic and subway delays shouldn’t even bother me.

Hanging out with my mom. We’re supposed to be making cookies together. At first I was thinking I didn’t want to do anything when I got back- but I realize this is definitely not a chore.

See all of my cousins. I am a lucky girl with over 20 cousins, whom I actually feel close to and miss seeing.

My friends, I’ve known most of them forever, and I have no doubt that we’ll be making many awesome memories that I can take back with me

The Grove– for some reason I’m really looking forward to going to this outdoor mall with those expensive stores you wish you could buy ON rack all the time, but you would go broke after 2 outfits. I plan on buying a latte at the Starbucks there and shopping the sale sections at J. Crew and Anthropologie, and maybe the Papyrus.
(Apparently I have this new appreciation for gift cards. It’s amazing to me that there are stores devoted to these beautiful little things that create feeling in people. They are printed, and put on display to be chosen for specific people who may find deep meaning in the words, who keep it for a month and then throw it away. There aren’t really printed cards here. Finding anything here that isn’t second hand is amazing never mind a 3$ greeting card with glitter.)

It’s Christmas, so I get to feel warm and fuzzies with my entire family. I get to live with a huge Christmas tree in a gloriously decorated home (to my mother’s credit, she is obsessed with perfect decorations)

-I really want to go to Franks and The Windmill. These places are staples of the Jersey shore and not to be ridiculous, but the best deli and hot dogs in the whole state.

I’ll be home for 3 weeks.
Will I be sad to leave, making me have to re-adjust again? Or will I look forward to leaving because of all the excess stuff that I don’t have to deal with, and the simplicity of life here?

I don’t know and… I shouldn’t spend time wondering because I guess it doesn’t really matter. As cheesy as this sounds- I’ll be home for Christmas with my family and friends. Consequently I am very lucky. I’ll just concentrate on that.

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