Traveling-it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller. Ibn Battuta
The reentry process is never easy. Anyone who has traveled will talk of playing catch up with sleep, with current events, with friends and family, and with work/school. At first it can seem overwhelming. But being in a foreign country for a period of time offers a sense of protection, a buffer, that cannot be fully appreciated until one is home. Upon return, it is easy to notice the NOISE. We are no longer protected from the ever-present chatter as we hear and understand the words and interactions around us.
Less tangible, however, is the impact the experience has had on our personal values, our outlook, our sense of self. Henry Miller said "One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things." The Thai culture and people are full of values that not only had an influence on our time there, but will continue to influence our lives and interactions as we move forward.
As we adjust to the eastern time zone and our domestic responsibilities, we can share our experience with the climate, the food, and the clinical experience. Even more, though, we will become storytellers: the perseverance, the support of the community and nation, the overwhelming kindness of our hosts and communities. We will notice subtle changes in our approach to patients, to families, and to life.
A huge heart-felt thank you to SUT, our communities, and our Thai faculty and hosts. Your hard work and time is so appreciated. Until next time, Thailand!!
|A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.|