Since returning to the Azores I did something I don't ordinarily do. I gave myself a week of grace. When we arrived, I felt as if I'd hit a wall. Transitioning from the fast pace of Canada to the slower pace here as well as the change of time zone required adjustment time.
It is wonderful to now have some things from home here which helped me to feel more settled. I'm especially thrilled to have some of the spices that I am used to and my very own Trinidadian hot pepper sauce! I found seeds of vegetables that are grown in the Caribbean like bok choy and okra. SCORE!!! We're preparing the land to have a garden. I pray that they will all grow exceedingly well. Last year I cooked 2 traditional Portuguese dishes and gave it to Ernest's uncle to taste and critique. He looked at me and told me I needed a cookbook each time. On this trip, I brought my Eat Portugal cookbook by Lucy Pepper and Celia Pedroso. When I bought this book in 2018, I could see the recipes were easy, but I didn't have experiences of most of the dishes. Now I do and it will be easy to follow it through. We'll see what Uncle says when I cook for him again.
I've spent some time examining this word "home" and realized that it's time for me to give it a new meaning to help me to adjust to my new life and overcome the homesickness I felt for Canada. I thought about the plans that I have for my future and concluded it would support me to call where I am based as home, whichever continent it is. One of our acquaintances calls herself a global citizen. I like that and I'm adopting it.
This year I want to meet more expats and began to do so. Their stories of adjusting to life here gave me the encouragement and inspiration I needed. I am not alone in what I think, feel and experience. One of Ernest's cousins sent me a message that made me think. He said expats can change a country. My prayer is for all expats here, any changes we make will always be in a very positive way and for the good of all.
Now that the feasting season is truly is over, it's time to take care of myself. I noticed that my body is very forgiving if I feast for a couple of weeks. This time I feasted for 8 weeks. During my week of grace, I phased out. It took me a long time to encourage myself to restart exercising. Today was my Day 1. The walkout crawl and running with high knees nearly killed me, but I did it! I am amazed at how well my body performed overall - phew! It's baby steps this week. I'm committed to a short program of 4 weeks and then....the journey of an even stronger mind, body and soul will continue. It's great to be back to a very different life where cows are the source of traffic.