Returning to Kazakhstan
July 12, 2011
London Heathrow Airport
I’m incredibly nervous and I haven’t yet figured out why. Part of it may have been the lamb donor I ate after visiting JHub (thank you David), but I think the more substantial contributing factor is a sense of uncertainty regarding my return to Kazakhstan after almost two years. I have nothing to be nervous about, but at the same time my stomach is in knots.
My nervousness may stem from a few points: I imagine changes but I have no idea what they are; my friends – where are they now and what are they doing; my Russian language ability; and, simply a general concern over whether these next 5 weeks will be able to replicate, in any degree, my Peace Corps experience for two and a half years.
I realize that there’s no reason for this trip to have any similarity to my earlier life in the country. But, at the same time, I feel like I’m revisiting a part of my life that has been largely closed. I never intended to close that door, but all the same, I’ve pursued new opportunities, been involved with a whole variety of projects, and have gotten older. It sounds absurd as a type, but that feeling just sits there.
I know that the moment I sit on the plane, shut my eyes, and wake-up surrounded by clapping passengers (or possibly not given that the plane is likely a variety of a few families, a few students, and professionals), I will be better at ease. I’m very excited to be in Kazakhstan for the next few weeks, new perspectives since the last trip will bring a whole new experience to my visit.
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