From home to home.
Tuesday, 07.29.2014 - 10:30 pm.

I'm home again. Although I'd gone home, actually. I don't know, it's so hard having your heart in two places, it's always slightly broken by the distance. It's harder if it takes you 24 hours to get from one place to the other.

Anyway, after my last entry, the days in my home country went smoothly. I was reunited with my four siblings, spent time with my mom and dad, and got to see some of my closest friends. Andrew and I presented at the psych congress on tuesday, that went well. And on saturday he and I had our wedding rings blessed at a chapel in front of family and friends, that went well too.

The mass for the blessing was short and sweet, by a priest who's been a friend of the family for decades. The mass was at this pretty, tiny chapel where a wonderful important priest was murdered during the war for speaking on behalf of the people. Next to the chapel, there is a building, a hospital, where I used to go as a volunteer and work with terminal cancer patients, before I came to Chile. And we had the lunch at a hall that's also part of the chapel complex, so proceedings stayed in the church. The catering service came from a friend of the family, so it was also good for a small business. So everything was very meaningful and nice, however modest.

I cried uncontrollably when the plane was taking off, on sunday afternoon. Andrew held me and I said, "at least I'm still traveling with my family". We had a good stay at my country, but most of all it was amazing being with my family and friends, and leaving them tears me apart.

Andrew and I met up with my beloved Lighthouse and CR. I was looking forward to seeing them but I was also scared they wouldn't be so much in to meeting up. Because I'd say, we were very tight for a couple of years but it's also been years since that and maybe they've moved on. On the contrary, Lighthouse was quick to answer my messages (CR hadn't had a phone for a month) and was very eager and happy to meet up. I realized I underestimated his affection for me. Aaaaawww.

So CR and Lighthouse came to pick us up, along with CR's coworker, and the car smelled like weed (I'd forgotten why they're always late). We went for pizza and then they took us to this huge house, where CR and his coworker are starting a falafel business. It's a huge departure from CR's old aparment, at least the one I knew, which was very FightClub-ish and just a single room. All in all, it was like old times, this get-together, even though it wasn't just the three of us. They both came to our little celebration on saturday, looking pretty dapper.

I have little stories of every day that Andrew and I were in my country. We went for coffee, to the beach, to a cousins get-together, we walked from the hotel to my parents' house, we suffered from the heat. We got a bunch of cash for our wedding...although that's a little embarrassing, but we're still very grateful, it's humbling. Oh, and my long-time friend Priscilla flew from Colombia just to be there, on saturday.

We got a lot of love, in a nutshell. I can't say "thank you" enough.

So of course it was hard leaving. That meant, among other things, seeing my family disbanding again, because also Brother #1 and Brother #2 had to get back, to the USA, one with his wife and daughter (Niece #1 came as a surprise to me!), the other with my 7-year-old nephew, Nephew #3. He's a cool little guy. They'd come to meet Andrew and attend the engagement celebration. Sister and Brother #3 stay in my home country, and that also sucks.

By the way, Andrew fit into my nuclear family perfectly. He's officially one of us (I mean, he's been my family since we started dating, but it's wonderful to see him be welcomed with arms wide open by parents, siblings and other relatives).

Like I said, it took us more than 24 hours to get from my family home to our own home. There were long flights and long waiting periods, but we also crashed at a friend's house before our last flight, in Santiago. That was very much needed, and she offered us her couch, breakfast and great conversation. She'll make us our "everyday wedding rings", that's her gift to us. We have our gold rings, the blessed ones, but they shall be used on special occassions only. Just in case.

Sorry I'm rambling. I'm trying to remember the good things from our trip and then I get a little teary. I'm grateful for that time we spent together, with my family and friends, and I look forward to the next opportunity, whenever that may be.

Now, on the horizon, there's the new semester (which started this week but I bailed), a lot of miscellaneous work and putting together the actual wedding. I had a restful day today, to shake all the exhaustion and sadness, and tomorrow it's back to normal.

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