Less than 60 days remain of my time in Jamaica!

My visit with my family was a wonderful lead in to both the holiday season and the beginning of my preparations for returning to Canada. As I had hoped, showing them around renewed my appreciation of Jamaica and its people and challenged me to assess what I have learned and what remains to experience.

As the days count down, I grow both excited and sad for the conclusion of this adventure. I’ve started a mental list of things I will miss and things I can’t wait to leave behind. No socks or sweaters = miss. Fresh tropical fruit = miss. Bugs = good riddance. Terrible infrastructure = see ya. (Meanwhile, I’ve started an *actual* list of the foods I want to eat when I get back to Canada – dinner dates booking now).

I am also starting to mull over my reintegration into life in Canada. Thanks to the internet, and in particular social media, I have been able to keep up to date on the comings and goings of family, friends, acquaintances and my communities at large. I can see some of the ways things are the same, some of the ways things have changed inconsequentially, and some of the ways things are vastly different than I am used to. While there is no way to know for certain what will affect me or how, there is no doubt that getting reacquainted to life in Canada will take time. It takes mental preparation to face reverse culture shock, but I am grateful to know that there are loving people at home who will be patient with me as I adapt.

Other than these mindful considerations, I’m setting aside the full-fledged preparations for my return until the new year. Next month will be filled with packing, good byes, and a final island tour when my sister comes to visit. Until then, I have a visit with some dear childhood friends this weekend and a Christmas trip to Panama with David to look forward to before I can even start to think about wrapping up my daily life. Good ways to start my Jamaican farewell!

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