I wanted to make one last entry to thank everyone who has been reading about and following my trip to the Dominican Republic this summer! I am now home safely in Columbus after a long day of travel yesterday.
I spent the past week with my mom, aunt, and uncle traveling around the rest of the country and revisiting a lot of places that we had gone on our ELAP excursions - Las Terrenas, Cabarete, Puerto Plata, Santiago, and Jarabacoa. Even though it was a little bit harder than I expected at the beginning of the week to leave Santo Domingo, I think it was a good transition period to spend time with my family, while still in the Dominican Republic, before coming back home to a big reverse culture shock!
On Sunday night, we did return to Santo Domingo because our flight left from there on Monday morning. It felt like coming home again after a week away, but it was an odd feeling to be going back to my actual home the next day. However, it was really nice to be able to say most of my goodbyes and to have one last dinner with my host moms. Leaving was far from easy, and there were definitely a lot of tears, but I actually felt at peace with the situation because I knew I would be back someday in the near future. I have a family there now and many friends, and a pretty good knowledge of the city. I can't imagine not going back after the summer I've had.
I was surprised at how overwhelmed I felt upon entering the United States. There was English everywhere, I could flush the toilet paper in the toilets, and I could drink the running water if I wanted to do so. It feels so different after having been used to something else for two months. I am glad to be home, though, and I'm excited to keep traveling in the future - that's one thing that this summer has taught me. I'm ready to graduate and get going! There is a big world out there beyond Columbus, OH :)