In a few days, we’ll be heading home to the USA.  It is the first time we’ve been home since May 2009.  And I find myself stressed, excited, and a bit terrified.

The cause of my stress is easy to peg.  We’re leaving for a month and there’s stuff to get done.

We have loose ends to tie up at work. I said goodbye to the kiddos at the special school and in the midst of our therapy group a boy had his first grand mal seizure.  Since the nurse wasn’t nearby, the teacher and I ended up calling emergency as he was turning quite gray and blue.  One of my biggest fears in Romania has been that I need to call 112 (Europe’s 911) and with the stress, my brain doesn’t work in Romanian and I can’t communicate what the emergency is.  Fortunately there was a parent nearby and I just shoved the phone in the parent’s face and he talked.  It was a crazy morning, for sure. Fortunately the boy is all right but quite fatigued and a bit confused.  The students who witnessed the seizure were rattled to see this, but after talking about it and making sure he was OK, attention was turned to the brownies David made as a treat for them.  Thank God for brownies.

I also have several projects going on that will be passed on to other PCVs (http://gad16zile.wordpress.com) and librarians and I feel like I’m ditching them a bit with more work. But hopefully everything will go smoothly.

For our homelife, we’re sadly counting down the days we have with Zamfira until she gets to stay with Aunt Ramona (our counterpart) while we’re gone.  As a relatively neurotic cat-mom, it’s a bit stressful to say goodbye to her. But she’s a flexible little Peace Corps Volunteer kitty and we’ll all survive.

We also have been confusing most of town by trying to pre-pay bills.  Our bloc association guy said that it’s normal for people to be 2 months behind in their bills, so if we’re one month behind, it’s no big deal.  We still gave him a bit in advance because we want to be good residents. But it’s definitely seen as strange!

And of course there’s the joy of packing and traveling and getting all those details together. . .

The excitement is easy to pinpoint as well.  We’re going HOME! Where there’s family (moms, dad, brothers, new nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins) and friends (and their babies) and American cats and Baja Burritos. And it’s been a long while.  Added to this is the joy and fun of Thanksgiving and Christmas and our wedding anniversary all squeezed into 40 days at home.

But alongside the ever-present stress and the understandable excitement, I’ve realized that I’m slightly terrified of going home.   I’ve existed in a country where I don’t understand everything going on around me.  At first that was a bother and I couldn’t wait to understand more, but I’ve come to like tuning out the radio or not eavesdropping on public transportation and living in my own world when I need or want to.  But what happens when I’m back in a place where I understand everything whether I want to or not?  What if Americans’ first world problems make me impatient and judgmental? For most of my time here, I’ve been able to choose to pay attention to US news, but when it’s in my face all the time, will I be able to handle it? What about driving? And the hurried pace of life? And shopping at malls (after Thanksgiving no less!) And other ways I’ve changed that I might not even realize? Can you feel the snow-balling rolling?

But I’ve promised myself that Sunday when I leave Ramnicu Valcea, I’m leaving all the stress and worry and “what ifs”  here.  And I’m just going to enjoy the ride home to people who love me.