America has been less shocking than I expected, there have just been small and strange things that I guess I had forgotten about. When I was on the Emory campus earlier this week I think I stopped to drink out of every single water fountain I walked by. Just the idea that there is this fresh, cold, FREE, potable water everywhere—it’s incredible and frankly too good to pass up. I had completely forgotten about twist-off beer bottles—in Mozambique they don’t exist. I keep wondering why all the drivers are sitting on the wrong side of their car and feel a constant general confusion about which side is the correct side to be driving on. I can’t believe how smoothly cars accelerate here! And I’m disarmed every time waiters are friendly and helpful, in Mozambique a vendor or server will often make you feel like you are a huge inconvenience.
I find it difficult to remember that I have been gone for two years. Perhaps because I went to boarding school and then away to college, since I was 14 I have constantly been leaving for short periods and then returning home. So now I have trouble convincing myself that it wasn’t just another one of those times. I keep saying things like “oh you got a new car!” or “wow that building is new!” To which people respond, “actually it’s about two years old…” The little kids have grown up into real people and many people are engaged or have more kids than when I left.