Slowing it all down. The start of the actual trip.
Saurday was the first time I had gone into a crowded market like those in Iraq since returning home almost ten years ago. The heat, lack of language comprehension, and the crush of people among the stands selling trinkets and treats for the day of the dead celebration could have been ripped out of my time in Iraq. It raised my anxiety level but I knew that I was with friends and in a safe place. This would be my first stress inoculation of markets on the journey and it would mean that I had diluted the negative stress experiences by a factor of one. It isn't being healed, but it is a start to tipping the balance in my favor. Being accompanied by Montserrat and the friends I had made from San Luis Potasi helped make it a positive first experience.
The second scrimmage went smoothly and the refs were great to work with. I am really happy I stuck around and worked with everyone.
The nights after derby were spent drinking and eating with the group on site at Moto Fiesta, but I found myself spending most every free moment with Montserrat. I was talking with Cat the whole time about my growing feelings but knowing that I was leaving mid-week meant I didn’t have to worry since I would soon be gone from Montserrat's intoxicating presence.