Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Friday, May 9

Today we woke up early, ate breakfast, and then were given an hour to pack up our stuff. I had brought a suitcase pretty full, and with the souvenirs that I had bought, it was pretty difficult to make the zipper close, but I ended up doing it. Then we all sat by the pool and waited for a while. We left around 11 for the airport, and when we got there, the counselors were waiting for us with shell necklaces to put around our necks.
We went through security and then waited for the plane to be ready while we continued signing flags. On the plane, Katie W and I got lucky enough to sit together again, and we watched Blades of Glory together. Then we got up and talked to people for a while and signed some more flags. Later, Nigel sat down in the seat next to me, put his head in my lap, and just said, “Alex I’m really going to miss you when we leave”. It was the cutest thing ever, and it basically described how we were all feeling on the plane ride back to Santiago. It was an unspoken sadness hanging in the air that these were the last moments we would spend all together. Sure, we would probably see each other again at going away parties, but nothing would be certain after this. When we got off the plane, a few people were already crying. After we got our bags and got ready to say goodbye to everybody and leave, the waterworks really started. We were all hugging and crying and promising to stay in touch and to visit in whatever country is most convenient. I know I haven’t known these people for that long or spent that much time with them, but being an exchange student somehow allows you to make very strong connections very quickly, and we are all connected so tightly now that I know we will forever be a family. It is sad that we all live so far apart and honestly will never be all together ever again. But, life moves on and things change, and I think that is the next lesson that my exchange has in store for me—how to move on and say goodbye. After we left the airport, Lily’s parents drove us back to her house.
We were pretty tired from the flight and from all the emotions of the day, so we just made some mac and cheese, talked for a little while, and then went to sleep early.

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