Some days

13 September 2006
5:30 PM

3 Comments

There are some rumors around our community about the gringos who come to Chile just to have a good time for a couple of years. It’s frustrating to hear about. If I had the chance, I would ask these people, “Does leaving your friends, family, country, culture, and comforts for two-and-a-half years sound like a guaranteed good time to you?” If having a good time is your main goal, this is not a smart way to do it. The reason is one detail about life in Chile that I don’t mention often: it’s not easy.

One reason is obvious: missing things. I miss my family and friends. In fact, it’s much harder than I anticipated being away from them. I miss things I knew I would miss—having a computer, Notre Dame football, going to school, NPR. I even miss things I had no idea I would miss: driving a car, walking barefoot in a house, church hymn in English, clean stuff, and the U.S. culture.

I never thought much about the culture in the U.S. I didn’t even recognize what it was. Now I have a better idea and I miss it. Not everything, mind you (politics comes to mind), but it’s tough being outside the flow of life there. Here July 4 is just any other day. I forgot that last Monday was Labor Day. I didn’t even remember that September 2 was Notre Dame’s season opener. When the weather is nice back home, it’s not here.

When I think about all the things that I miss and the things that I am missing, it’s a natural question to ask why. I do. I wake up some days and ask myself what I am doing here. Sometimes even work doesn’t provide helpful answers. Girls scream at me in the foster home; students don’t put effort into learning; I sit, sometimes in silence, with elderly people for a couple hours each week. My impatient half taunts me, asking about the careers that all my friends are pursuing. Why this?

It’s not that I don’t have any answers to the question, but some days—even some weeks or months—the answers are harder to see than others. On those days, it’s not easy.

Comments

For what its worth, we miss you too :>

Ryan,

That was a really awesome post man. I am going to tell my close friends and family to read it. Keep up the good work man and can´t wait to see you all again in December.

Ryan~ Sing along with me….”Did you ever know that you’re my hero…” You know I miss you lots! You know I couldn’t be more proud of your choices and actions! You know how much I love you!

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