Monday, September 30, 2013

The Lost Posts, Part 1 "Re-Adjusting Sucks"

I revisited the old blog today. It's been a while since I've read through many of my posts and all sorts of lost memories and snapshots in time are rushing back. Among the lost memories in my blog, I've found several unpublished posts, that for some reason or another never made the cut at the time. So I bring to my dwindled audience a lost post that shows another snapshot in time, my re-adjustment to life in the States. One never becomes fully re-adjusted of course, but as I approach the two year anniversary of closing my service, I found this post to be especially poignant, as I have become your standard Peace Corps definition of re-adjusted.  Still able to hold on to much, but not nearly enough. The following was written on December 10, 2011, less than one month after returning home.

"Yesterday I got into a Ford Pickup truck, in the backseat by myself, parents in the front. We stopped at Sonic and ordered a cherry-limeade and cheese sticks for the road. We enjoyed conversation and Sirius Satellite Radio at a reasonable volume. We were on our way, a calm relaxing drive to the center of chaos, the DFW Metroplex. It's that crazy time of year here in the States, right between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Every year, it seems to get worse and worse. I don't know if that's because I'm coming to that age where I notice it more and more or not, or if it has a lot to do with technology being closer and closer to our fingertips, but it seems to be everywhere. Part of me feels like I've been locked up in a time capsule. My parents had to teach me how to work an iPhone. They came out before I left, I think, but I had only seen a few. My old phone was fairly new then. Flip-phone with a camera. It is completely obsolete. My old clothes still hung in the closet, although they were out of style before I left (if they were ever in style). Now I will donate them and maybe some lucky Guatemalan will be able to pick them up for a dime. I walk into a Target and there is a Starbucks and Pizza Hut by the registers. The aisles are full of things I swear I have never seen: 28 versions of a coffee maker, 12 version of the Foreman grill, a cosmetics section that was half the size of my Chiantla grocery store, sports, entertainment, gifts for babies, frozen food, deli meats, bakery, bathroom, fire extinguishers, socks, undies, entire aisles dedicated to potato chips, cereal, soup, crackers, and sauces, Christmas decor. TV shows about less than average people just being themselves play on, sell magazines, and people watch from leather sofas as they enjoy their Venti, or whatever that size is, Double Mocha Frappe Latte, or whatever that drink is. One day, I walked into a convenient store and was completely baffled by my choices for an afternoon snack. The lady at the register asked me if I needed help and then said, "You just look confused or lost or something." I am... I can't even go into a gas station without completely shutting down, not just inwardly, but visibly to the point of needing assistance from strangers. I am confused, I am lost, I am completely overloaded."

"This is where I would normally talk about my last month in country and reflect on my service. Where I would talk about how I have had the experience of a lifetime (and I certainly have). Where I would bring this blog, this adventure, and this story to an end, and bring all the loose ends together, but I can't right now. I just started to feel a tiny dose of readjustment kicking in, and I am fighting..."


  1. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of used stamps because trough them, you can see pictures about fauna, flora, monuments, landscapes etc. from all the countries. As every day is more and more difficult to get stamps, some years ago I started a new collection in order to get traditional letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favor:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Guatemala? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Guatemala in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and an original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Avenida Juan de la Cierva, 44
    28902 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely

    Emilio Fernandez