Chapter 22 - First World

After spending a year in Indoneisa, I returned with my family to Alaska. Life was different after returning from where we had been staying in rural Indoenisa. Everything seemed so clean and perfect, compared to the dirt floors and farmland we were used to inhabiting from our time in the tropics. The people were different too, they seemed to show a sort of respect for the time we had spent calling the third world our home. Most people I knew would never venture so far, fearing they wouldn't be accomodated as they desired.

I was happy I had experienced something different. I was also growing quickly, which was incredibly exciting. I saw that finally, after so many years, I would no longer have to suffer stunted growth and could grow up just like everyone else, and everyone should. I was equally happy to be back in my home where I could return to school, continue taking violin lessons, and see all of my friends back at home. We invested in a workbench so I could continue the creative projects I had picked up in Indoneisa, like making small toy boats and model steam engines, as well as origami. I worked downstairs in my room constantly, creating whatever grasped my interest from whatever I could find. I also continued to build with Legos, taking advantage of a Lego robotics kit I had been given to learn some simple engineering and coding.

Coding was slow going at first, but I got the hang of it quickly and was able to make more and more complex autonomous robots. There were so many examples I could find on the internet that I was able to improvise most of what I needed from other peoples code. Coding felt like it only had a simple purpose at first, but I quickly began to see that what I had learned was incredibly useful as I could improvise code for nearly any purpose I could imagine.

At this point, I wasn't even sure how old I was. My memory of getting shot was blurry, and I figured because of my size I was simply a child as most people would have expected. I looked and acted like a child, but I couldn't shake the feeling that something was different about me. I knew I was different somehow, and I could feel it inside of me. I felt different. I felt strange, being in such a strange situation. I knew no one else who had even had a similar experience. Alaska felt like the right place to be, because living in a military town felt safe, and Alaska was a place where survival meant expertise. I had to know how to live and stay safe, or I didn't stand a chance.

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