Wednesday, March 17, 2010

"Bye, bye miss American Pie"

It continues to surprise me, the things that I miss from home, and what can trigger nostalgia. I took some of my school girls to the movies last night, and we saw "Our Family Wedding." Of course, the family in the movie reminded me of my own Latino family and upbringing, but it goes beyond that. It seems that every time I go to the movies in St.Kitts, I get a little homesick. Its the whole ambiance of being in a theater and feeling like I could be in a city in the USA. Its watching the films and seeing all the California landmarks-the LA skyline, the Disney Concert hall, the 10 fwy winding through downtown (I'm mean really, I miss traffic?). It catches me off guard every single time, and when I come back to my apartment, I find myself reflecting on all the things I am missing out on back home. In a way, I am grateful for the feelings of longing and homesickness. Before moving to St.Kitts, I NEVER considered myself a patriotic person, and was often the first to find the flaws in American society. I now have such a renewed and profound appreciation and pride for the US. I love America's sense of individuality, liberty, celebration of diversity, and respect for personal privacy. There are so many things that I took for granted while living in the states, some that I NEVER expected to find an appreciation for. Such as our constitutional right to bare arms. I am NOT a gun enthusiast, or some card carrying member of the NRA. I do think that the restrictions and the process of purchasing firearms could and should be better regulated to improve the safety of many Americans. However, now that I am living in a nation where responsible citizens live in fear of criminals who illicitly obtain illegal weapons,I see how fortunate American citizens are to have the RIGHT to protect themselves as they see necessary. I have no plans whatsoever to go out and buy a gun when I get home, but I am so glad to know that I have the option to do so. Many of the other things I have taken for granted are much less political, like Trader Joe's (or any major grocery store) and convenient access to affordable healthy foods, people who use headsets while listening to their music, noise ordinances, livestock zoning, Target and one stop shopping, a selection of ethnic foods (esp. Sakura Ichi Japanese & Los Jarritos Mexican), affordable clothing, bookstores, bud light, and automatic dryers. I can now proudly say that I LOVE AMERICA!! I love St.Kitts too, but every once in awhile, I need a mental break from living in a foreign land. That being said I want to thank Erin Bryn & Lars, Leeann & Mondo, Dan, Jamie Lyn, and The Jaimes/Janssen family for sending me some pieces of home. You have no idea how much those care packages mean to me, they really make day, even my week! Thank you so very much, I really miss you all.