Second Time Around

Hi Everyone!

This is my first blog post of this trip, but my second time in Rwanda and let me just say there are so many different things about going for a second time. The first is obviously the group, I had such an amazing group last year and ended up with some amazing friendships from it, but going into this year I was already close with so many people here, its cool how relationships have changed since we have arrived.

During one of our debriefs a few days ago we did a high and a low for the trip so far, and my high was how easy this group is to be with. I just get along with everyone so well, even the people I wasn't super close with before. Looking at the rate this group is going, I feel like we may even hate each other by the end, but hopefully not.

Unfortunately that debrief also had us highlight our lows of the trip, and mine was just how homesick I have been. I wasn't expecting to get homesick at all, I never have when i've gone to summer camps and other vacations, and I certainly didn't on the trip last year. But as soon as we got across the border I was already missing home. I think that could just be because of the people I left behind, having my sister home for the first time in about a year and a half and leaving people who mean the world to me is hitting me way harder than I was expecting it to. I figured it would get better once we got here, but it is hard not to think about home. For the first two days we didn't have wifi, and I really don't know if that made it worse or better. I was upset because I couldn't talk to them, but then the first time I was able to talk to them I had a total mental breakdown and went off about how I felt like the trip was stupid and didn't want to be here anymore and just wanted to go home. That is obviously not actually how I feel, but in the moment it was hard to think of how I would ever be able to have fun here.

Now that it has been a few days I have been feeling better, we traveled to a new place to stay and went to a high school and some other stuff, so I think being on the move so much has been helping me a lot. It's mostly while I am trying to fall asleep that I think about home, my mind races at night and the people back in the states are all I can think about. This has been making me stay up extremely late every night, trying to stay in a friends room to stall the thinking about home. This is just a vicious cycle because when I am tired I am more emotional, so really I am just digging myself in a bigger hole.

I think it will continue to get better as the days go on, but I feel like home will remain in the back of my mind constantly for the next three weeks.

Nevertheless I am still having an amazing time and I am happy that I came back, but I feel like going two years in a row is a lot for a person to do, rather than taking a break in between and skipping a year. I am looking forward to see how I feel in a week or so, hopefully I will be able to write a happy uplifting blog post about all of the fun things we have done, and by then include some of the amazing pictures all of my talented peers have been taking here. 



Thank you for sharing

I am sure the feeling of leaving your family behind has been very difficult, evne more challenging without the opportunituy to be in touch whenever you feel the need to do so. I hope that you will be feeling better each and every day you are in Rwanda. It is amazing that you are traveling there for a second time. You are stonger than you think  and I hope that you will be able to experience all that this trip offers as the days go forward. I appreciate and so respect your honesty and sharing how you are feeling. Keep the posts coming! I look forward hearing form you. Mrs. Atwood