It's Really Happening

Authored by:
Leonard B.

10/23/18 @ 2:37 PM

I'm in the back of a school van headed East to my new city, Chachoengsao, Thailand. My stomach's in knots and I feel like I'm going to explode from the nerves but I'm keeping it together back here as I listen to my school coordinators carry on a conversation in Thai with interspersed questions posed to me about where I'm from and my background.

Didn't expect to feel this emotional, honestly. At least not this soon. Our goodbye ceremony at the hotel was the start of the emotions. The Bai Si (spelling? not even sure if i heard the name right, honestly) ceremony held for the participants of our program was beautiful and incredibly meaningful but damn did it get me feeling some type of way. That being said though, it reinforced how privileged I and those like me are to undertake this adventure and really reinforced that we're still looked after we set out on our own. 

But still, when you're the only American headed to your school and province, you can't help but feel all alone. I'm texting everyone now back in the States, just to feel some kind of connection and familiarity but it's too early to get any responses. Being ripped from the cocoon of orientation was startling I think for us all, even though we knew it was coming. It's like watching a punch come in slow motion. You know it's going to hit and you try to prepare as best you can but once it lands, it still stings. 

I just want to sleep for a year and get back home. But then again I don't. I kind of love this feeling of not knowing what's next. It's almost an out of body experience besides the butterflies flitting in my stomach. 

The day doesn't stop here and that kind of blows. We check me into my new apartment (full report on that coming soon), tour me around my new school, then head to a welcome dinner. While I appreciate the warm welcome and information to ensure I'm prepared for my first day on Thursday, I'm also exhausted. Mentally and physically. I just got through a marathon orientation which, while fun, was draining. And to top it off I just separated from the friends that I leaned on and leaned on me - not sure if or when we'll see each other again. But I suppose that that's the way it goes, I knew what I was getting into when I signed up (to an extent) and now I have to deal with it. Buck up, put a smile on, keep the contents of my stomach in order and we'll be all set. It only gets crazier from here.

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