La Despedida

In the last few weeks, everything has finished up. All my classes are done now, and all that’s really left is to buy some presents for people back in the States and to say good-bye to the people I’ve met over this journey. I always really hate good-byes, and I think Peter Pan sums it up nicely, “Never say good-bye, because good-bye means going away, and going away means forgetting.” While I don’t think this trip will soon be forgotten, I don’t enjoy the fact that it is about to become a memory. Soon I will be home and get the usual sling of questions, such as “Did you have a good time? What was your favorite part? What do you miss most?”

How am I supposed to have just one answer? I had a good time by getting to explore this country and culture and making new friends, but I missed my family and friends, and often wished there were parts of my journey that I could share with them. I loved most things about this place: my caring family here, seeing the blue ocean every day, eating fresh fruits and vegetables for cheap, and the excitement that constantly runs through this city. And what do I miss the most? I already miss being here, and I haven’t even left yet.

Yesterday we had a final lunch provided by our program so we could all say good-bye. Some people have already left, and some people leave soon, and it is getting melancholy. I grew close to some of these people, and even those who were not my close friends here were part of the shared experience, so it is sad to have to hug them one last time. I hope that I get a chance to visit them someday, or they can visit me. And I really do hope that someday I can come back to Chile and visit my family here. I am glad I have two more weeks to spend with them, and I know those two weeks will fly by.

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