I have been back in the US for almost four months now. I have been re-starting my life here and am reflecting on my time in Colombia as I adjust.
I had an amazing year in Colombia – It was a year of freedom in that I lived alone for the first time in a long time and that was great, relaxing and refreshing. I was not responsible for anyone but myself and it has been a long time since that was true and very freeing for me.
It was a year when I was learning and growing both as a person and as an English teacher. I was doing meaningful work that was challenging and interesting with great students. By teaching English to soldiers who had been wounded in combat, I was helping them to grow as individuals and engaging their minds to learn a new language. They were eager to learn and interesting to engage with.
It was a year of meeting new people and making new friends. I met some amazing people who were fun to hang out with and learn from. We had great times exploring the country and learning and connecting.
I was in an amazing country that was mine to explore. I lived in a vibrant and beautiful city that was exciting and inviting and always had something interesting happening.
I was practicing and improving my Spanish speaking and that was fun and challenging.
It was a great year all in all and I am so glad that I had this experience.
I came back to the US for many reasons, many of those were family. Though I was able to bring the kids to Colombia, it was costly, and they really wanted to spend the next year in Denver again. Colombia was a great experience for them but asking them to continue to go there every summer is not really doable or realistic. I have made a commitment to them – they have been with us since they were 2 years old and will continue to be as long as they choose to be.
My daughter is still living with us and finishing up grad school – she is figuring out what the future holds for her. It is helpful for her to have me around to talk to and bounce ideas off.
I found a job teaching refugees English and love working with them. It is a great job and is a good way for me to oppose the Trump administration! It is nice to be back at work and engaged again. I am getting my garden prepped for the Spring. I got a dog and am getting chickens and am settling into life here with both feet forward – I’m jumping into life here and will commit – which is hard for me to do – I’m nervous about it and think about how I am getting older and this opportunity to up and move to an amazing place like Colombia may not continue to be available to me for many more years. Am I willing to give up on living there? I think about that as I make this decision.