Nos vemos (I'll be seeing you)

Trip Start Aug 01, 2009
Trip End Nov 30, 2009

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Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Monday, November 23, 2009

Well readers, our journey together (at least our South American journey) is almost ready to come to an end.  I'll be leaving to return to the United States in a little over a week, and while I'm really ready to be home I'm beginning to realize just how much I'm going to miss Argentina.

I remember from an entry I made a few months ago that I predicted I would finally become comfortable in Argentina right when I was ready to go home.  That is certainly the truth.  My second host family has been such a blessing to me, I don't really know what I would have done without them.  I know that I don't write about them a lot, probably because our relationship is so personal, somehow it just doesn't feel right to talk about them like they're characters in a story. 

Living abroad for any given period of time changes you. It demands so much: adapting to new social norms and expectations, giving up who you thought you were, venturing outside of your comfort zone, forming relationships with people you probably wouldn't have under regular circumstances, and living every single day to the fullest to the best of your ability.  I've learned so much about who I am and what I believe in and I've come to consider my friends and host family here like my real family.  When every single day is a struggle, it makes you appreciate everything. It's the little quiet things that happen on a day to day basis that makes it so meaningful.  It's my host mother and I watching a telenovela.  It's my friends and I walking to get some dulce de leche ice cream for our poker night.  It's helping my host mother's one-year-old granddaughter learn to walk by the jasmine bushes. It's having the dogs run up to the gate when I get home to attack the intruder and realizing it's me and waiting patiently until I can get past the gate to pet them. This place has become a part of who I am and my life experience and I don't think I ever anticipated just how difficult it would be to say goodbye to it all.

So far this week I've had to say goodbye to quite a few of my friends who are leaving to go do some more traveling before they return home.  I've briefly mentioned leaving to my host mother (although she's old enough to be my grandmother) Dora.  She got this teary look in her eye and told me it was going to be okay.  That we wouldn't say adios which means goodbye in a permanent way, that we'll never see one another again.  When the time came for me to go back we'd simply say nos vemos or "I'll be seeing you". I know I'm going to cry when it comes to leave her and her one year old granddaughter Luz.  We're going to have a party to see me off, and that will be fun I'm sure, I guess I'm just realizing how difficult this is going to be to leave.

I suppose I'll just have to remember that it's never an adios...only a nos vemos.
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