Published: June 30th 2012June 30th 2012
Well, the time has come to say goodbye. The feelings are so conflicting. I’m happy to go home and see all my loved ones that I’ve missed but I’m also sad to leave all the loved ones that I now have here in Chile. Since coming back from Argentina, and spending my last week here, I’ve looked at my calendar every day with both excited anticipation and looming dread.
I’ve made so many wonderful friends. I’m not talking about people that you hardly know and only mostly like. I mean REAL friends. It seems weird because you might think, how could people get so close in only four and a half months. I don’t know how it happened but we’ve experienced a really strong bond in spite of our little time together. Even on the 2nd
day of knowing each other we were already going out on the town together. It feels like we’ve known each other forever! I’m serious. Claire told me that she was in Dallas this past November and I was like “What? You were in Dallas and you didn’t come see me?!?!” Then I comically remembered that we didn’t know each other back then. We just
met at the end of February but it doesn’t feel like it.
It’s harder leaving these friends than it was to leave my friends back home. I realize it’s because even though I knew I was going to miss my friends and family from home, I knew I would see them again...in a few months. But as I leave these people, I realize that some of them I might actually never see again. We live all over the U.S., and even if I manage to travel to see some of them, all of us students are never going to be in the same place at the same time again. It makes me so sad because we’re all so awesome, individually and as a group.
This was the week that I had to do everything I wanted to do. I had to live it up and stock it up. I went to Jumbo and bought Pisco Sour, manjar, and chocolate flan…all the things I’ve been sucking down mercilessly for the past few months. I also got Muesli and Vitalisimo which are the cereals of my dreams! Every morning I had the same breakfast (Muesli and Vitalisimo which are
9 months old :)
grain and granola with 3 types of fruit, corn flakes, and milk from a box) and every day I woke up super stoked to eat it again. The cereal was so filling I could eat breakfast at noon and not get hungry for lunch until 7:00 P.M.! Okay, enough about my magnificent cereal...I could talk about it for hours. Haha! Anyway, besides buying stuff, I went out dancing…I doubt that surprises anyone. I had so much fun. On Wednesday, I rented some chick flicks and had lots of girls over to watch them on the projector that my host parents have. It was a great time and we filled up on chocolate flan, M&M cookies, double chocolate chip cookies, and more. Yesterday I went to Cafe Jardin with my host sister Elisabet and her baby Marquitos. And last night I went out with Kelsie, Elena, LeeAnne, Liz, Isaac, and his friend Freddy. We had to do it big since it was the last time we'd all be out together. My funds got low, *cough cough* non-existent, so I had to ask my host parents for money...like a real daughter. They asked me what for and I looked at them sheepishly
and said "Well...to uh, go out." They gave me a huge smile and looked at me like "Omgosh this gringa.
" Then they spotted me. They love me! Hehe
Anyway, right now I'm on the bus headed for Santiago with some other ISA students. Lizette got us a bus to take us to the airport. I packed my stuff at the last minute because I hated to leave. Then when I started packing, I did it with gust because I was excited to go home. It was super bi-polar. I just said goodbye to my host family and I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard. When my host parents dropped me off at La Catolica
where the bus was, they hugged me fervently. I didn’t want to cry but I couldn't hold back my tears. Papa Samuel could barely look at me. I could tell he wanted to cry too. I'm going to miss them so much. I hope to come back in a couple of years to visit them.
I can't believe my time has come to an end. I can't believe my things are crammed (extra emphasis on CRAMMED) into my suitcases and on Sunday morning
I'll be in the United States again. As I look around this bus, my compadres
look just as shocked as I do. No matter how much we wanted to prolong our time together, time marches on all the same. My only consolation is that I lived this experience to the fullest. I know I have. When I go home I will have no regrets. I tried new things, I learned tons, I had fun, I made friends, I spent precious, valuable time with my Chilean family, and I felt joy even in the smallest of moments. And most importantly, I knew to appreciate my time here. You know how you don't really know how valuable something is until it's gone and then all that's left is nostalgia? When I go home, I know I'll have to adjust to being back, but nostalgia is not something I'll have to feel. I've lived fiercely as to not have regrets. As a result, I am so satisfied! I can say without a doubt that in Chile, I have truly lived.
There are more photos below