This past week my family from the U.S. came to visit me, and although it was full of some unexpected hiccups, it was amazing to show them the city I have come to know and love. As I have said in past posts, I have made a home here. At first I found myself in disbelief that my real family was finally seeing what I have been living. Likewise, now that they have returned home, they can have a visual of the city, my home, and a sense of my day-to-day.
One of my favorite moments of the week was having my real family meet my host family. It amazed me how much joy it brought me and also made me realize just how close I have become with my host family. I truly consider them to be an extension of the family I have. It was the best of both worlds. There was so much love in the room.... I was grinning ear to ear!
It was interesting to me that the first thing my host mom asked was if my family saw a difference in me. I did not really see that much of a difference in myself until they came. I have been taking for granted how well I know the city now and my ability to navigate without my guidebook or maps. Also, just the rhythm of life and living within this culture happened quite naturally for me. Of course I knew it would be different for my family, but I don't think I realized just how much I have come to embrace and live in the lifestyle here. I felt so blessed to be able to share what I have learned with my family and have a greater appreciation for just how much I have changed, in little and big ways.