Posted by: janetwright2guatemala | 09/21/2010

Homesickness hits hard!

20 septiembre 2010-lunes- Adapting to a new culture is neither a linear process nor easy…especially when you throw in a bit of illness. This past week was definitely one of great highs and lows. Last weekend my host sister, Nelly, came down with a cold that I also managed to catch. Nothing that would have phased me in the least had I been back home, but here in a new country surrounded by new people, I found that it put me in a very vulnerable emotional state….hmm, I don´t even know how to say “I am congested.” I knew how to say a few other symptoms, but it was the sadness and homesickness that felt too difficult to share.

I also learned this week how much I treasure and miss interaction with people my own age. The dancing 3-4 times/week in Seattle put in the embrace of men my age, so I have missed that company and physical contact. The fact that I am only 1 of two older trainees in our group of 32 also lends a sense of loneliness, most trainees are closer in age to my children!…So I need to be patient because I am still in the fledgling stages of creating my new support system here. I do have a close friendship with the three other volunteers in my town with me, and after a night of tears, I shared my distress with them the following morning. They listened compassionately…offering supportive words and knowing that they, too, will need the support someday. 

Thankfully those few dark days have now passed…I’ve had the energy to dance in my room to my music…



  1. Jan, I’m so sorry to hear you’ve had the blues. It happened to me a few times when I was in Germany. It’s just so far from what is your “normal.” But, they’ll definately be good and bad times. We miss you as well. I was remembering back to last Thanksgiving and wishing that we could make it a “tradition.” I hope all is well now and the tears have turned to smiles. We haven’t forgotten about you! And, you are definately missed! Crystal

  2. Don’t lose heart. Seems you are on the right road, even if it is a little lonely at the moment. Every thing is the same in Seattle…not sure you’re missing anything here…not in the world of urban planning anyway…

  3. You were doing so well up to this easily anticipated moment. It most always come, and then goes, as you have already discovered. Your experiences have been a joy to hear. But back to a man to hug. Picture a man, me for example, close your eyes, outstretch your harms, and slowly wrap them around your imaginary figure or tree. Squeeze tight, shake a little, if you must, and there you have it. You hugged, but sad to say trees don’t hug back. You got the idea, anyhow. I, we, do miss holding and dancing, or in my case, prancing around the hall with you. I’ll have to pretend too.

  4. you must be doing better by nowThe weather here is starting toward fall ie cool nights lots of sun which i always crave. this year i go to c.rica in dec. maybe next year….dec.? then to brothers for xmas…nc…Otherwise work..fix housework fix house church group though for socializing …take care martha who sees this besides you?

  5. Hi Martha,
    I think I can reply solo to you, although I can also post comments…so if it´s not too personal, then I probably will post it on my blog…just makes it a bit more interactive. I do appreciate the supportive comments I´ve received. Yep, I am doing better now…learning to laugh and shrug off those down moments because they will come again.

  6. We’re thinking about you Sis. Mom was sad to see you not feeling well and homesick. We are sending you well wishes and hope the rest of your acclamation goes more smoothly. Love you!

  7. Janet,
    You are still close to many who care and are with you in this great adventure and service. Although you don’t know me well, I remember each dance and plan to be here when you return to once more dance with you.

  8. You are doing well, Janet. It is the pain of being assimilated into another culture. I went though it at age 14. I know you can do it! I think at age 47…it and I turned out Ok. You are always on my mind and I find myself not spending any money because I remember how you are learning that instant gratification is only momentary. I am also joining you in the journey.

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