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HomeLeave 2012 part II

December 24, 2012

HomeLeave 2012 includes visiting many friends from Italy who have abandoned us returned home.  It is wonderful to see them in their native habitats, picking up the lives they had put on hold for a sojourn abroad.

But some of those lives have changed and the friends themselves aren’t the people they were when they left.  Beyond the culture shock of being able to use all of the household appliances at the same time without blowing a breaker or ordering any ethnic cuisine you want and probably having it delivered to your door, there are more subtle changes we don’t expect.  One cannot live among the other without coming to see life a little bit differently.

As a friend who did a semester abroad in college said, it’s good for people ~especially young people~ to see that it’s possible for folks to do things differently from oneself and have it work just fine.  It might even be that while ‘the way we do it’ seems to be best, there might just be an even better way we’ve never considered.  It can change a person’s view of the world.  And the people in it.  And that can be uncomfortable.

But that is why we do it;  to stretch our comfort zones, to better understand our fellow humans, to advance our own society when we return.

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