The OTHER side of goodbye

Ok, so you saw what I have to say about how I will miss South Africa. Now I will throw you for a loop and say how much I am dreading getting on the plane next week! Yes, I love South Africa and the friends there. I love the country and its people, I love the food, I love the scenery and I love the experiences I have there. But you can take that last sentence and apply it to my home right now.

I love my country. Even with my political views, I love my country. I'm reading a book right now called First They Killed My Father, and it is about a family's experience with the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the late 1970s. That wasn't so long ago. Reading about what people in other countries have dealt with within the past 30-40 years is absolutely amazing. Of course, I want George Bush out of office ASAP (only 677 days from today, but who's counting?), but I am also excited as to where our country may go in the next 10-20 years. I am excited and optimistic that the US will only get better.

I love the people of my country. I love our servicewomen and men fighting overseas - and I want them to come home soon. Very soon. I love the country folk I grew up with in rural Texas, and I love the liberal left wingers I have spent time with through graduate school. I love all the wonderful friends I am blessed to have and the best family one could ever ask for.

I love the food here. Now in year two plus some months of being vegetarian, I am learning more about food and what is available here. I am greatful for Morningstar Farms, Quorn, and Amy's. I also love the fact that Mike insists I eat a vegetable with every meal. Unfortunately, he does not agree that tater tots count as a vegetable serving. Two nights ago, I even ate lima beans. LIMA BEANS! But they were good. I love that we can get decent Mexican food, great pizza at almost any hour, we have restaurants and grocery stores open 24 hours and that you can buy freshly baked cookies at stands in the mall (you cannot, for the life of you, find a warm cookie in the V&A mall on the waterfront in Cape Town).

I love the scenery. North Carolina is a beautiful place to live. So green and so hilly. I love the Durham skyline and the way Duke Chapel looks lit up at night. I love my backyard with the huge magnolia tree and pines sheltering the rolling hills behind our house. I love seeing Mike cuddled up with Buddy and Scout on the couch when I get home from class. I love seeing Allie cat run down the stairs and rub on my hand when I get home from work. I see a lot of beauty every day.

I love the experiences I have here. I attend lectures on campus with worl renowned speakers talking first hand about their life. I play trivia nearly every Tuesday at the James Joyce Pub with some of the smartest people around (at trivia anyway :p ). I get to take fantastic classes as a top rate university with an 80% tuition cut. I get to enjoy the benefits of several nearby cities, all a 30 minute drive away or less.

And most of all, I am going to get homesick. I will miss Mike. I will miss my kitties, my bed, my car, and all the other things listed above. I know I'm only gone for a little over 2 weeks. But it's hard to say goodbye to home, too. But, it sure will be wonderful to have it all back when I return!!!

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