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Looking for the Rainbow Amongst the Clouds
By Tristain G., YES Abroad 2016-2017, Macedonia
As I sit on my bed eating cereal and watching the sunrise, my host grandmother (baba, the Macedonian word for grandmother) brings in a sandwich she has made for me to take to school.
And that’s when it hits.
Although I am homesick and I do miss America, I have finally found the rainbow of this experience. Slowly, but surely, I am able to see the light that is hiding under the clouds of familiarity. Being in a completely new environment is terrifying, honestly. But when you wake up to a beautiful view with a baba that absolutely adores you (and also thinks you should eat every twenty minutes), it hits that even though it is scary, it is worth it. Building an identity for yourself and discovering yourself is one of the most difficult, yet rewarding processes one can go through.
It hits that my host family has not only opened up their home to me, but also their hearts. As my host mother changes the channel to an English show, so we can watch together. As my host brother asks if I need help with my Macedonian homework, so we can have better communication. As my host dad offers to drive me to the gym, so we can have that extra time to talk. As my host cousins speak to me in English just so we can have a conversation. And as my baba asks continuously throughout the day if I need anything…it hits that the people in this family are loving me in every way possible.
So, yes, I am homesick. Yes, I miss my friends and family. But I am slowly coming out of that and looking towards the light of this experience.