Shell Shock? or Jet Lag?

We are home. Our flight got in around 11:00PM last night. I was surprised how comfortable I was with all of the snow even though I was in a t-shirt and a skirt and flip flops. It is SO good to be home! We all showered before bed and I had to wash my hair twice to get all of the smoky smell out of it. Just like when you have been camping. We finally went to bed around 2AM. Leah was up promptly at 7AM chomping at the bit to go to school and see all of her friends. Her two best friends Julia and Angie had called during our layover at JFK. They said they have never missed anything or anyone as much as they missed Leah over the past 2 weeks.

The bus couldn’t make it to our house to pick up the girls, so we dropped them off at school. Aaron and I came back to the house, unpacked and started to do laundry. Even if we didn’t wear it, it is getting washed! I opened the pile of mail. I sifted through over 450 email. I haven’t really been answering the phone though. Maybe it’s the jet lag, may be it is culture shock. I don’t know that I can tell the story over and over, it is SO vast! I have more 50 than pages written in my journal.. now what? Do I post it all online, would you even read it? It’s like a novel! I don’t want to post it without pictures, because honestly you CAN’T imagine it!!!

I find myself thinking, “I can’t believe I was there!” And then I think about all of the people we’ve met. They are all still there. I guess I am processing it all. I keep asking myself, “What’s next?” and I do not have an answer. There are so many needs in so many places.

I am no Oprah or Angelina Jolie, I’m me. Sometimes we think we can just leave it up to the millionaires and movie stars to make a difference. The problem is if you leave it up to others, you miss out on having the difference made for you too. I am in a brutal process of redefining so many areas of my life. Re-examining things I was sure I knew. I am sitting here with my eyes opened to how little I really know about the world and about people and about real struggle and survival.

13 thoughts on “Shell Shock? or Jet Lag?”

  1. Welcome home! I speak for many when I say that we would LOVE to read all that you wrote. I would love to take the trip through your eyes. I look forward to reading all about it and seeing your amazing footage. Get some rest though, I am sure it’s all going to catch up with you soon! I think you probably missed it, but I had posted some of my Africa pictures right before you left. You brought back some great memories with the stories you were being warned about, lol.

  2. Yay! My Ray Ray is home! If you write it, we will read it. I would love to see the pictures *with* the stories.

    And I would take you over Oprah or Angelina any day.

  3. As a new member to the ST! community, based on what I’ve seen and read, I can tell that you were really missed and that you have a captive audience to share as much as you want whenever you are ready to do it. I have also been overwhelmed recently with a sense of needs being out there and feeling too small to tackle it all. My son has cancer and one of the best things I have gotten out of the experience is seeing that there are other people out there who are giving and serving others and who want to make a difference. I might go so far as to say you are an emerging commander of a signing army who is ready to be led in making a difference in the lives of others. As you said, and as I have experienced first hand too, if you make a difference for others, it makes a huge difference for yourself. You ask what’s next? I can’t wait to find out! Good luck, from a new onlooker of your ongoing miracle and a supporter of the benefits signing based on what it has brought to my own family.


  4. I think if it’s that long and detailed and you’d want the pictures in, you should make it into a book! You could even make some of the proceeds go to help out those you visited. We’d all buy it!

  5. That is the best thing that traveling can give you – opened eyes, new perspective, reevaluation, and appreciation. I’d say that anyone who doesn’t come home feeling changed and tumbled about has missed the best reason to leave in the first place. Post your diary – everyone who is interested in reading it (me!) will learn something secondhand through you. Welcome back!

  6. I have really enjoyed reading about your trip. Hope to hear more about it. It’s always interesting to hear about other cultures. Rachel, I think that now you have been on a vacation, you should do your next video on vactions. YOu know, Hotels, Beds, Tourist, Resturants,Airports, Amusement parks, souverneirs, ect….. I think that would be wonderful!!! Any thoughts?

  7. Welcome home!! Safe and sound (until the thumb incident… I’m reading the posts out of order as I’m a bit behind) Maybe Leah was too tired for the monkey bars after that long trip and then school! I can imagine her excitement to return (and I appreciate her excitment as a teacher). ๐Ÿ™‚ Did Alex go back that day, too, or did he sleep in ๐Ÿ˜‰

    You and Aaron must have missed Lucy more than anything! She’s probably the happiest to have you back.

    Welcome home, from all of us here in Stamford, CT.

  8. I would love to read and see everything about your experience! We are all so glad that you and your family made it home safely, and that Lucy has her family back!Can’t wait for chat on Wednesday! Hope you’re catching up on rest!

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