Sadness. Acceptance. Joy.
WOW! Today was the biggest jumble of experiences and emotions! What a long day!
I woke up productive this morning. I grabbed my laptop and began homework straight away. I have a lot to get done since next week is finals week and the week after I leave for home! It’s so cliche and I sound so cheesy saying it, but time flew by.
After doing some homework and eating a delicious lunch, I got myself ready to go to “reverse culture shock training” at UEES. Walking over with my friend Angela, we talked about our schedules and housing arrangements for the fall. We’ve already made plans to cook and party together back at New Paltz!
Once I arrived to “training”, reality hit me. I’m really going to leave this place in 15 days. Such a short time. I remember bombarding Payal and Ashley (two former study abroad students who came to UEES) with questions, being nervous and preparing myself to come. And look how fast time ran out!
For reverse culture shock training, Angelike, Andrea and Karina had prepared a slideshow and reflection questions to remind us of all we have done here and our many experiences. I hadn’t realized how much each and every person has effected me since day 1. All of us internationals have stuck together like a lot of lost puppy-dogs and we love each other although we may not all get along. I am so grateful that Angelike, Andrea and Karina have acted as artificial mamis, offering us advice not only as advisors, but as family. They open their office door to their hearts with sweets, puppies, and shoulders to cry on. There is no way I could ever thank them for doing all that they do. This is not just a job for them. They really love us.
So, after they filled me with tears for all of the memories captured in a few pictures and funny videos, they sent us off to finish our exams and excursions.
Today gave me a lot to think about. Especially after walking in the rain with Aryn, talking about how much we’ve changed but probably don’t notice it, how even within the next couple of weeks we can experience completely new things, and how the journey never really ends. They say it’s time to say goodbye, but I think it’s time to say hello. Hello to all new opportunities. Hello to new experiences. Hello to change and fear. Hello to the unknown. I didn’t think I could open up anymore as a person, but I am now so open to the possibilities of life.
After soaking my shoes in the notorious puddles of Samborondón during the rainy season, I plopped onto my bed at home to Skype with my mom and dad for a few minutes. Did I tell you I switched host families? I decided to spend the last few weeks with a different family that seems a better fit for me. Well, anyways, my family did not give me much time to rest. We had dinner and their sweet tooth was itching so bad! They all BEGGED me to make cupcakes tonight (we had bought all the ingredients for cupcakes and cookies last weekend)! So, along with grandma’s help, we baked cupcakes for about three hours! And finally we’re done! I’ve never had so many opinions in the kitchen at once! It was definitely an overwhelming experience! lol.
And so the day goes: productive, sad, nostalgic, optimistic, tiring, OH and did I tell you? I found out that one of my best friends got accepted to New Paltz! And I also found out the names of the three Ecuadorians who will be studying abroad in New Paltz next fall! AND I made three friends who attend New Paltz studying abroad here with me. Next semester is going to be AWESOME!!!
GOODNIGHT ALL!!!! =D
Sweet dreams and don’t let the bedbugs bite =]