December 3, 2013 by Brittany
When I was growing up my best friend in elementary school would always call my house home. As in “yea, so when we get home, we’ll watch this movie.” Or “let’s go home, I’m tired.” When we stayed at my house, it instantly became home to her. But for some reason, to me that just never happened. I could never bring myself to say “home” when talking about her house, or anybody else’s house for that matter. To me, home was where my family lived, and I couldn’t understand her ability to just throw that word around. Sure, I had my apartment in DC and I considered that home, just as I did my parent’s house. But any place I didn’t actually live? Nope, couldn’t be home. For some reason, this distinction mattered. But now I get it. Now, my friend’s family in my site is home. Now, spending a weekend with other volunteers is home. Now, laughing until my sides hurt with my little host cousin is home. Home isn’t any one place, but a collection of places, moments, experiences, and people all woven together. So my best friend back in elementary school was so incredibly wise I just didn’t realize it. It isn’t just about the actual physical place I live, or where my biological family is at all. It is when I am welcome, it is when I am loved, and accepted. So now, home can be everywhere all at the same time. Even when I leave, Peru will still be home.
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart will always be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”