This past week was the last was the last of my abroad program. It was so unreal.
The level of work we had at school was unbelievable, so I feel like it took all our focus away, and before we even knew it, it was time to say goodbye to more people over the weekend. How to describe the relationships formed among all of us is almost impossible.
That’s such a big factor that I think is ommitted in the study abroad thought process. The idea that you’ll only be introduced to new cultures in terms of wherever it is your study abroad loaction actually is is completely false.
I’ve met so many people from so many parts of the US, and you would think that that’s no big deal or that there are no substantial differences between us all, but again–false. And it’s been wonderful getting to see that and realize that there’s so much to see within our own country worth seeing and experiencing as well. That we don’t need to travel thousands of miles away to see incredible cities, stunning landscapes, be surrounded by different customs, and so on–and this newfound appreciation of the United States, I think, now resides in everybody who was here these past four months.
And so the week went on with several goodbyes throughout the days at different events, and many attempts to cram in whatever leftover tasks or desires were left unfulfilled.
For my group at home, we mostly just tried to relax and spend time together. This meant an overload of watching movies, visiting outdoor markets, having huge meals, and spending time with Elda, our “house mom.”
The thing is, for me and my friend Morgan, home isn’t until June 1st–when our flights are. We’re each traveling for a little over a month in the meantime: me to the northwestern part of the country, and her to Peru! Hopefully, both of our trips–which we leave for today–are safe and successful :).
What else can I say? This has been incredible. All of it. Did we really do it? Did we really fly to another hemisphere and live in a place amidst a different language, different homes, different friends, a different school? Did we really accomplish this?
We have, and how different we would all be if we had never done this. If we had spent all four years at our host universities…
It’s funny that this WAS part of our college experience. This isn’t just something we did over the summer, or after we graduated, and that’s amazing.
This past Tuesday was my last day volunteering. I had to say bye to the kids, other volunteers, and the employees of the center where we worked. That was actually one of the saddest goodbyes I’ve experienced here yet. I was tearing up the entire way home, and, to make things better, I slightly sprained my ankle while running after the train to go home.
To tell the truth, I didn’t think I would deeply miss my time here–at least not as much as I already do–mostly because of how much I’ve been missing the people back home, but here we are.
There are so many things you don’t expect or don’t realize. For example, the thought of living in a huge city like somewhere within NY or DC always terrified me, but that’s what I’ve done for this entire past semester! And I’m sure the list will go on.
I wonder how I feel when I’m boarding my plane to the US–let alone when I’m actually there.
For now, though, this isn’t real goodbye.
Just a temporary one! Thank you so much to everyone who’s been reading over this time. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it, and like with with everyone else, our farewell will come in about a week :).