On a recent day June, I found myself right back in the place I had missed so much, in the kitchen of my house here in my small town in South Central Pennsylvania, having recently returned from a long day of mowing. I reflect how wonderful it is to be back in the place that I (in the past) have sometimes reluctantly called home over the last 17 years, how good it is to be able to share and laugh with people who have known me since before I can remember meeting them, and most importantly, be in control of what I eat. One lesson I certainly learned this past year is how much I appreciate food, this year has solidified my belief in the philosophy that: life is just not as good as it could be without good food. Although there where certainly times where I enjoyed my host families high carbs, high calorie diet (it tastes real good after a long day carrying around heavy things under the strong sun) I certainly do love my spring rolls, kale salad, stir fry with tofu, pad thai, sushi and other overly healthy foods. That said, I also enjoy a good pulled pork bbq, Spicy burgers on the grill, with baked beans, kielbasas, sauerkraut, and potato salad. Food, in its many forms found around the USA, has been and will continue to be a major part of my life for (hopefully) decades to come.
Another wonderful gift the place I grew up in has given me is experiencing the changing of seasons. From the leaves changing in fall (I cried several times when friends of mine send me pictures of fall leaves) to playing in (and occasionally removing, but more playing) in the snow there is a little bit of everything to live through here in Central PA. It is only the second time in my life I have not had snow on the ground or faced sub zero temperatures for the Christmas season, (the other time being back in 1995, when my parents lived in Eucador still and I was a grand total of two days old). I struggled a bit having approximately 80 degree Fahrenheit (26.6 celcius) weather with few clouds in the sky, rather than having 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 celcius) weather and some snow flakes. Although I often complain (my mother will gladly attest to that) about the cold of central Pennsylvania, in Ecuador I found myself at times longing for a good polar breeze nipping at my face. I can attest that I will be in a minor state of shock this winter when I return home from college in North Carolina only to find all the colors of winter (fingers crossed for white Christmas) piled up at my front door. Although I have little to no control over the weather during the holiday season in my area of residence, I would like to do something I do have control over, and write a poem.
The intern, Elias Smolcic Larson
My new job, the learning curve, full of possibilities,
Sometimes so close, I almost have it; other times so far even I roll my eyes
Mowing green lawns with singing brooks full of mountain swept water out back,
My gut, it takes me higher, over the clouds, across those windswept hills,
To where it lay for years and years, buried deep under snowdrifts,
Only to rise, up above the maples and pines,
And blossom into more
(I would like to now take a moment and thank all the people who donated to my cause, who supported me since the day I was born until the day I left to go overseas and when I was there and who continue to support me until the present day along with everyone else I have yet to meet in the coming years. I hope you all manage to find this reading enjoyable as I had a lot of fun writing it and may the powers that be bless your soul. Here’s for an adventure well spend and here here for many more to come. In the famous words of Garrison Keillor, host of The Writers Almanac