I'm about 3 weeks into my homestay experience. It's definitely been a learning experience. I'm so glad that they have us do our first few months with a family and with a different community than the one we will be living in permanently, though. It gives us the chance to basically screw up and not have it affect the next 2 years. We can realize how we should do things, and change when we get to our permanent site. I don't think I've made any major blunders so far, but that's not to say I won't.
It's so easy to get frustrated with the language and feel like I'll never truly learn it, and then I take a step back and remember that I've only been learning it for about 3 weeks. I'm able to have very small conversations and express many of the basic things I want to get across. I'm pretty impressed with how much we've been able to learn in 3 short weeks. Living in the language truly is the fastest way to learn. When the two-year-old hits his head and says "mi naki mi ede" about 10 times, I quickly learn how to say "I hit my head". Quite helpful.
I'm really anxious to see my site. I've heard it's really pretty and great. People have said really good things about it. There's supposed to be a beautiful little creek by it. Also, I've heard my house is relatively large compared to some of the other PCV houses. Also, my place is supposed to have a bit more privacy, which will be nice. I think it will be pretty overwhelming going to my site the first time. It seems like we're kind of just dropped off for 3 days with a hammock and a box of mac and cheese. I think I'll come out of this with a fair amount of resiliency at the very least.
I miss my family a lot. I remember when I came home from my year in Spain, I thought that I could never go that long without seeing my family again. And here I move to the Amazon for 2 years. Hmmm... I talked to both my mom and my brother Maia tonight and it's amazing how talking to family can lift my spirits. They know me better than anyone in the world does and it feels great right now having someone who knows me that well. I'm surrounded by people who have only ever heard me say things like "I want food" or "I wash myself". I don't exactly feel like my personality shines with those phrases. That'll come with time though.
The last two days have been kind of....egh. Just hard. I think I was just down. I get down at home too, though. But, the entire week before that I was legitimately happy to be here and that felt so good. It made me really hopeful about being really happy here. I am simplifying my life though, which is one of the reasons I wanted to join the Peace Corps. My host mom gave me a battered and deep fried banana last night and it was like a little piece of heaven. It truly made my night. Simplify life: check.