Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sunday, August 18

I was woken up early this morning when my little cousin Flo walked into my room and started talking to us. I don’t think she realized that both Monse and I were still sleeping! We watched a movie, and then I went and put on makeup (it’s kind of weird sleeping in a house with so many family members—I didn’t know if I should feel comfortable having them see me without makeup). Then we all sat down and ate breakfast together. Maria Jesus, the younger girls, and I went outside to play games after breakfast. After a while we got tired and went inside to watch Cristobal pack. The crowd of family members began trickling out, saying goodbye to Cristobal and leaving. As the time to leave for the airport got closer and closer, the packing got more frantic. Nancy had to run to the Jumbo to buy some last minute things for Cristobal, and the suitcases weren’t closed until 5 minutes before we left. We went outside to take a couple photos, and then we left for the airport.
Along the way we picked up Vicente and Augustin, Cristobal’s two best friends, and Monchito, Cristobal’s (and mine) Rotary counselor. We were 11 people and 2 suitcases in a car that seats 7. Maxi, Cristobal, Augustin, Vicente, and I sat cross legged in the trunk and 4 people sat in the cab seat made for 3. I think it goes without saying that they are a little more lax about traffic safety than we are in the US.
The ride to the airport was weird. As I watched Cristobal looking out the window, I knew exactly how he was feeling. It is a weird mix of incredible sadness at seeing everything that you’ve taken for granted your whole life for the last time and overwhelming enthusiasm at the adventure ahead of you. In the airport, I hung out with Augustin, Vicente, and Monse while the rest went to check Cristobal’s bags. They were overweight, so it took them a really long time to pay extra and sort everything out. It was weird seeing Cristobal and knowing that we would have to say goodbye so soon. At around 8, Cristobal had to go through security, so we all had to say goodbye. He hugged everyone, and we were all crying as he waved goodbye and went through security. It was such a weird feeling for me to be on the other side of this sort of goodbye. I was sad not only for Cristobal and the family but also because it reminded me so much of when I had to say goodbye to my friends and family. The walk back to the car was very sad. Everyone was hugging, crying, and walking slowly. Nobody said anything. We got into the trunk again, and started the long ride home. Vicente and I listened to music together, and everyone was pretty quiet, lost in their own thoughts about Cristobal and the year that they would spend apart. We dropped everyone off and got home around 10. I was tired, so I took a shower and went to sleep. It was a weird feeling being in the house without Cristobal and knowing that for the rest of my exchange he wouldn’t be here. He was my best friend here, and he helped me a lot to meet new people and to understand more about Chile. I am so excited to hear about all his adventures in Idaho; I only hope he has time to talk to me over Skype!

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