While the human race is a complex and diverse species, our ability to reason, make connections and feel emotions is a special trait that we share and that is often taken for granted. After being thrust into a new country, culture, and way of living without the ability to converse or communicate I was afforded the opportunity to contemplate our inate ability to make these emotional connections. And, as a result, my appreciation for these person to person connections has vastly increased.
Being here, without the ability to communicate reverts one back to being and feeling like a toddler. You can't speak, you don't understand the cultural practices, and you are so unaccustomed to the new way of living that you can't even fend for yourself. However, the kind gestures of your host parents and the smiles of your host siblings reassure you that in time, all will be fine. Actions really do speak louder than words.
After returning from training at Tubaniso, I realized how much of a connection has already been established between me and my family. We fell back into our routine so quickly and easily, that it affirmed that my relationship with my family has been solidified. I was told that when I was gone the first night, my little sister Nantane, who I have a special bond with, cried because she thought that I had left and gone back to America. At that time, I had only been at homestay for approximately 2 and a half weeks, and to see how much of an impact I have already made is truly awe-inspiring. And, as my ability to communicate with my family improves, so does our bond, and this makes me dread my impending departure in about a month.
Peace Corps says that if you survive homestay, you will have a successful service. I have no worries about surviving at this moment, I only dread leaving. I am going to miss my homestay family, and I can only hope that my short presence has been and will have a positive impact in their lives.