So I've been back for a few days now and boy is it a different experience. Gone are all of the roving animals and the curious children. There are no spots to go to and you never hear the sounds of drumming in the distance. Everyone is so shut off from one another and saying hello is a thing of the past. But its green here and I can drink the water. I get to play guitar whenever I want and have steady internet access. I guess you have to take the bad with the good. All I know is that there is good in every part of the world and what little time I spent in Kopyeia was some of the best of the good I have ever had. I am starting to see it bleed into the way I carry myself in public and how I perform at work.
I am at school for the summer and am working pretty exclusively with technology (can you say reverse culture shock) and the people who use it on campus. In the past I found it a lot harder to interact with co-workers and customers. However, being in a place like the village where everyone is your friend has made it easier to truly feel that about the people I meet. I think this attitude is what I will take with me most going forward.
You cannot go through life shut off from people. Rather you need to meet them with a smile and an open palm. Life is too short to lock yourself away behind closed doors. I have never realized this more than now. To all of those who made this trip possible, who traveled with me, and all those people I met along the way I want to say thank you and that you have a place in my world forever.