So I made it home safely and free of parasites or tropical diseases! It’s comforting to be back home and see my family and sleep in my own bed, but as I was warned, I may be experiencing a bit of “reverse culture shock.” It is a little shocking getting used to living without hot water, dryers, an abundance of vegetarian food options, your own room, potable tap water, public bathrooms, affordable ice cream, and reliable internet in the palm of your hands, and then coming back to all those things (and more) all at once. When I first came to EG, it was sometimes frustrating getting accustomed to the different lifestyle, but easy enough to adjust without thinking much about it. Coming home seems to be the opposite. Don’t get me wrong, I missed my espresso machine and community-supported agriculture box, and I don’t want to say I took everything for granted before this trip. I’ve always felt blessed and fortunate to be able to live the way I do, and to have the opportunity to visit such different parts of the world. However, returning to overpriced sustainably grown coffee and trendy locally sourced restaurants has left me quite disenchanted. One of the things I really missed in EG was cooking, but particularly cooking with a lot of fresh produce from local farms or markets. Now this seems so irrelevant when the entirety of Bioko Island is practically a food desert and that is the least of their problems. It’s good to be home, but my experience of actually living in Equatorial Guinea has solidified the reality of social and environmental problems in less developed countries, and I’m frustrated more than ever by companies selling social responsibility at a premium. With much to think about for a little while, I’ll try to keep my Christmas presents as sustainable as possible without selling out to commercialism! Happy holidays!