Monday, July 4, 2011

The last day

Today was the fourth of July. Tomorrow is my last day in Burgos.  I'll leave Burgos at 10 p.m. and get to Madrid at 1:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, spend the night in the airport, and fly out at 7 a.m. It's going to be a very long trip.

Meanwhile, here I am.  It is 2 a.m. in Burgos and I just got back from saying goodbye to my good friend Yana.  My scrapbook is half-finished.  My suitcase is 4 pounds over the airline's limit. My life is chaos.

Today I went to Covarrubias, Santo Domingo de Silos, and Hacinas with María's sister, Eva.  They were all cute little towns and they kind of reminded me of home.  Hacinas was my favorite--it is the least touristy and the most untouched of all of them. Very calm.

They had a good-bye supper for me at María's mom's house tonight.  They are all coming to the bus station to see me off tomorrow, but it was still so sad today.  They have been good to me and I will miss them so much.

Tomorrow I am going to get up, make cookies, somehow take four pounds of stuff out of my suitcase, run some errands, say good-bye to Henar, her family, and my Burgos friends, and try to enjoy Burgos before I leave.

With all of this craziness, I am left thinking:  Life is chaos, but isn't it beautiful?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Ten months of Burgos

So, I have happy news & sad news.

The happy news: I will be home in five days!
The sad news: I will be home in five days.

Spain has become like a second home to me, especially in these past few months. This place holds its own place in my heart and it will be very hard to leave it. On the other hand, North Dakota is my home too and I can't wait to see the empty prairies and my family and friends.

The past few days I have been on vacation in Ajo, Spain, with María, Antonio, and the kids. It is nice to spend time with them, and I am so happy to be at the ocean once again. I am in the process of making a scrapbook of my life with them to give them when I go.

I am not going to pretend that I think the transition home will be easy. When I came to Spain, I expected everything to be very different than what I was used to—I expected to struggle, to be homesick, and to hate this place. Then I got here and none of that really happened. Somehow I adjusted well and didn't go through much culture shock. And somehow, going home seems a lot tougher than leaving it was. Granted, I am not terrified like I was before I came here, but when I left North Dakota I knew I would return. I am leaving this country not knowing when--or if—I will ever come back. I am leaving a language and a family and a second home, all of which I really love. I am scared that I will forget my Spanish and that I will never come back to see this place where I have grown so much. But that's life, right? All you can do is keep on pushing forward.

We'll get home from Ajo on Saturday night. Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday I will spend packing up my life and belongings and saying goodbye to all the important people here. Wednesday I will be on a plane back to the United States. When I get on that plane I'll leave behind ten months of my life. Ten months of growth and joy and pain and homesickness. Ten months of Burgos.