We have the same conversations everyday. Which shouldn't be a surprise, we've all been in each other's space since August. What is surprising is that we all don't hate each other. Sure, Armand is really loud and Jess is always on the computer and Lisa and I talk in our own language, but... it is almost like we're family now. The family none of us thought we needed. That none of us knew we wanted.

The conversation starts over something simple, like food. I miss steak. Real Cheese. Pancheros. Cheap Red Wine. And then it continues...24-Hour grocery stores. Coffee shops. My car. But it is not until we start naming names that we realize what we are missing. Mom and Dad and Kara and Beth and Graham and Annie and Janie and the cat... what we really miss, really more than anything, is everything that we knew would always be there. And it is there. But we're not there. We're here.

We find small joys, things we never would have found back home. Novelties like bindi and henna. Chinese subtitles on the vcds which we can tell were filmed in a theatre. Or community chess. Are you sure you want to do that? Are you really sure? But every now and then we sit in silence and you can read on everyone's faces exactly what we are thinking. We are thinking about everything we want to say to everyone that matters. We are wondering if it will be possible to unload our entire skulls in the airport right when we first see them. And, we are eagerly awaiting those first moments back where we fully appreciate everything that is there; everything we would not have noticed before. Everything we take for granted.

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