Goodbyes: as of late there have been so many for me. A farewell of this sort is an odd thing as more often it takes the form of "see you later." When I left Spain, there were limited "adioses," but a number of "hasta luegos." The Spanish do not like to say goodbye and stick to "see you later," but I knew that it would not be the case for some of those people. I will not see them later. As I contemplate my departure (tomorrow!) and say "goodbye" to friends and family (you never feel so popular as when you go away for a year, let me tell you!) I have noticed a strange sensation within me. In the moment as I hug or wave goodbye and joke, "have a good year!" I feel strangely apathetic. I know that I will miss these people- that I already miss these people, but a year apart from them is almost too grand to contemplate. This mixed with the reality that our farewells are in fact "hasta luegos," is enough to remove the sting.
As sadly as I leave my strong and supportive communities at home, I eagerly anticipate the formation and development of new communities. I hope that my home communities understand how much I appreciate all that they have done for and with me and that I carry all of those important lessons and experiences on my travels.
People say goodbye differently when you are leaving them to go to Peru for a year. When I left for college, albeit only 1.5 hours from home and 20 minutes from the nearest aunty, I received farewells steeped in the knowledge of what I was to encounter. People know what to expect from Easton, Massachusetts but most can barely pronounce Chulucanas, Peru. That grand year (or just about 11 months if we're going to be technical here) will fly by. My hair will be long again before we even know it.