It’s now been one week since I returned home from Slovakia and I wanted to post one final blog as I reflect upon my time away. This first week home has been challenged by extreme jetlag, and a real sense of discombobulation as I try to regroup to my home and community again, going back to former patterns of living, and just trying to adjust to “normal” once again.
While in Slovakia, I was so blessed to have a low-stress environment, and lots of opportunity to rest and relax and just enjoy day to day living. Coming back home, I am reminded again of the fast-paced life that is part of my real world.
My final days in Slovakia were spent with friends over coffee, meals, and good conversations. I was so blessed by so many who cared for me while I was there, and became part of my circle of friends that I treasure. I’m especially thankful for the staff at the Center for Christian Education and the University of Zilina who provided the greatest support for me, especially Dr. Adrian Kacian, my Slovak colleague and friend. I look forward to our continued work together, and to returning again sometime in the future.
Most people don’t get a sabbatical as I did and I’m very grateful that my university provides this for its faculty. I’ve learned a lot about myself, and about living abroad. I’ve accomplished a lot of travel experiences which have added richness to my life. And I’ve had time to step back from my job, do some reflection, and get re-energized to start back at Concordia in January.
Some people have asked me “what’s next?” The honest answer is “I don’t know…” I just got home so for now I’ll enjoy the holidays with family and friends, jump into the new semester in January, and see where the Lord leads from there. I’m glad to be home! And I’m equally glad for my time away with the wonderful people in Slovakia! I will miss them all!
Dr. Debra Arfsten, PhD., Concordia University Chicago