As of right now, I have just under 36 hours left here in Spain. One day. Would would have thought that time could and would pass so quickly? (Even though that is just what my mother told me in December)
Am I ready to leave? Yes and no. I'm ready to see my dog. I'm ready to sleep in my own bed again. I'm ready to drive my car and not be reliant upon public transportation. As far as school is concerned, I'm ready to return to IWU and be away from the ever-crazy Fundación. I'm ready to go back to eating dinner before 10 pm. I'm ready to be back to air that smells like spring and not like cigarette smoke. I am ready to be free of the thousands of creepy pigeons that reside here.
Yet on the other hand, I'm not ready to go back to a place where there is nothing to do, especially after 9 pm. I'm not ready to leave behind the little stores where the people know my face and exactly what I want when I walk in - such as the bakery where the lady always calls me ¨cariño¨ (it's like saying "darling" or "sweetheart") or the butcher/deli where they men always flirt and flatter me. I'll miss the fresh produce. I'll miss the museums, the park, the shopping. I'll miss the food. I'll miss the rich culture that surrounds me everywhere I go. I'll miss being surrounded by the Spanish language. As much as I hate the pigeons, I'll miss being entertained by the males doing their funny mating dances that remind me so much of men in bars. Most of all, I'll miss my family here. I'll miss cooking dinner with Carmen every night and having that time to catch up and find out about each others' lives.
Yet I know that the experiences that I have had here will stay with me forever. I'm coming back home more independent, more courageous (heck, I've taken the metro at 1:30 am by myself - if that isn't courage then I don't know what is) and more sure of myself and my Spanish. I know that if God wills to send me to another country some time in the future that I can handle it and be perfectly fine. I know that I can even handle living in a big city if I have to, although if given the choice I sill prefer my small towns. I'm coming home with new friends, new family, new cultural quirks (I apologize in advance for the Spanish colloquialisms that may slip into everyday conversation). As if I wasn't quirky enough.
Good semester? Understatement. Am I going to miss it here? Undeniably. Am I ready to have another experience like this one? If that is what God wants for me, then you bet.
So for now, folks, that's it from Spain. I'll be seeing you at 2 pm on Friday at O'Hare Airport, terminal 5. I expect to see big bouquets of flowers. Just kidding.