People warn you when you tell them that you’re going to live abroad for a year (as they should) that it’s not like vacation. It is for the first few weeks and even months, but then things often change. I’ve even seen manuals about it. After about three months, it’s easy for the rose-colored glasses to come off and to find oneself jaded. Nevertheless, I can’t really say that I’m that homesick. But I will admit this: It certainly does not feel like it’s three weeks from Christmas. With temperatures here in the 70s during the day and 50s at night, it feels more like it did in the States when I left than December.
Today I also realized that my alma mater, UW-Stevens Point, is having its end-of-semester Concert Band and Wind Ensemble concerts tonight and tomorrow. The significance in this is that it will mark one year since I’ve played with that group. Even though I didn’t graduate until after I student taught in May/June, I haven’t really been on campus or in the NFAC regularly in almost 12 months. Being here in Mexico now makes me think of how many things can change in just a year. It wasn’t that long ago either that I was filling out my YAGM application and doing phone interviews with the ELCA about this exact moment here and now.
At our retreat last week, some of the other YAGMs brought up that unlike last year, absolutely none of us have any idea where we will be a year from now. Of course we have ideas, but nothing as concrete as before. As we get into the thick of Advent and approach Christmas, remember that things are always changing. I think that’s the true message of Christmas.