20.06.2009 64 °F
The last day of school for my students came and went, and now I am in the midst of teacher meetings, paperwork, and more teacher meetings. The last day was perfect as we had a good-bye mass and I took a bunch of pictures with my second graders. As much as they frustrated me this year, I will miss them a lot.
As I get closer and closer to leaving Bogota and arriving back home in Chicago, I have the weirdest mix of emotions that can only be compared to when I was leaving Chicago and arriving in Bogota. I'm happy and excited to see my friends, family, and boyfriend at home but also sad to be leaving my friends and home here. Who knows when I will see these people again...I can only promise to return soon.
Now, for some lists.
First, these are things I will miss about living in Bogota:
1. My students
2. My fellow teachers and other friends
3. My school in general
4. The food! - meat, soups (ajiaco and sancocho), arepas, tamales, empanadas, fresh fruits and veggies, restaurants like Crepes and Waffles, El Corral, Wok, Archie's, and other traditional restaurants too.
5. The juice...seriously Colombia has the best all-natural juice, rather than a mixture of sugar and water like in the States.
6. The climate - usually 60s and sunny, what could be better?
7. The view of the mountains
8. My apartment
9. The flowers and green even in the middle of the city.
10. The awesome and cheap public transportation (although I will NOT miss the traffic)
11. Dancing! I will need to get my fix of salsa dancing in Chicago...
12. The cheap arts and crafts markets
(I'm sure there are many more)!
And second, these are things I'm looking forward to about the States:
1. My family
2. My boyfriend
4. Home! My bed, my backyard, my neighborhood
5. Chrissy, my dog
6. Summer - backyard barbeques, 4th of July, swimming, wearing shorts, camping, driving (in general) - but also with the windows down and the music up, live concerts, mini-golfing, baseball games, family reunion in TN
7. The weather - although I will miss the comfortable temperature of Bogota, I have realized that the changing seasons really help you appreciate each one.
8. Food! - I like food wherever I go, and even though I will definitely miss the food in Colombia, I can't wait to eat Chicago style pizza, homecooked meals, specific restaurants - Portillo's, Aurelio's, Panera Bread, Noodles and Company, some good ole' Taco Bell, etc.
9. Going back to school
10. Going back to Loras for homecoming as an alumni
11. Hanging out with friends and drinking good beer - Bogota's beer can pretty much all be compared to Bud or Miller
12. Shopping - believe it or not, clothes are cheaper back home!
(and again, there are many more).
This truly is a bittersweet feeling. I have never had such mixed emotions before, but I know that this experience has changed me for the better. I have come a long way since July 28, 2008. I am more self-confident, independent, flexible, understanding, patient, bilingual, and bicultural. Colombia will always be a special place for me, and I know I will be back someday soon. Of course, I can't forget that I still have 2 weeks to live up! And then home, where I have an entire summer to enjoy! Yay!
Hasta luego : )