It was difficult and I missed my family a great deal.
However, my just-concluded year spent living with a pack of wild raccoons taught me so much -- not least how to thoroughly clean my food in a running stream.
Here are 10 other things I learned living among raccoons:
Raccoons communicate in the field using an elaborate series of hand signals, similar to those employed by a third-base coach calling for a squeeze play in baseball.
The raccoon written language uses the Cyrillic alphabet, also seen in Russia, Bulgaria and Serbia.
Raccoons associate in extended family groups called clans. I spent my year with a clan called Сладката малки бандити, which roughly translates as "Cute Lil' Banditos."
Raccoons have divided North America into a series of provinces. The province encompassing eastern Iowa, western Illinois and a portion of southwestern Wisconsin is Старлн Кастло (pronounced
The raccoon equivalent of a "Polish joke" is called a "Weasel joke" and is never really funny.
The raccoons you see rooting through garbage cans aren't looking for food scraps. They are seeking bottles of Tide detergent, which they steal to use as currency on the streets.
The triptych by notable raccoon artist Боядисване на животните displayed in the Art Institute of Chicago was hanging upside down for 16 years until a visiting marmot spotted the error.
The raccoon game пулове с удря is similar to human checkers, but with jumping an opponent replaced with a sharp slap to your opponent's nose.
Although they don't own televisions, raccoons exhibit an instinctive fixation on the failed relationships of Kim Kardashian.
Raccoons enjoy April Fool's Day almost as much as we do.