Thursday, April 14, 2011

Saying Goodbye

This week has been really difficult for me. For two reasons: 1) I hate "transition" periods. As in, if I have to do something hard or that I don't want to do, I want to do it now, immediately, as soon as is humanly possible. I hate having to wait and suffer and feel bad about it. So I have pretty much been in agony since I bought my plane ticket last week. 2) I am really bad at goodbyes, and hate them almost as much as I hate transitional periods.

I'm flying out of Brussels on Tuesday morning, and so I'm wrapping up my last week of teaching this week.I did alright on the goodbyes with my students right up until this morning. This morning I had to say goodbye to what has definitely been my favorite class this year, and they didn't make it easy:

Some of the cards they made me

A sample of the sweet, sweet messages they wrote: "Dear Sara, You have learnt me full of things on your life on your family and on America. Love, Charlotte." Also "I wish you a happy return to Indiana. France + America = <3 (a heart) La Paix (peace). Love, Simon." You're crying too, now, right? I am. Here they are in all their ornery glory:

They made me bracelets and keychains and gave me candy and drew me lots of pictures of the Simpsons, because that is (seriously) our biggest cultural import to 9 and 10 year olds in France. Simon even made up a song and dance and performed it for me. It went something like this: "Bonjour Sara, bonjour Sara. Sara d'Indiana, Sara d'Indiana. Au revoir Sara, au revoir Sara, Sara d'Indiana, bon retour a Indiana." Bon retour means "happy return," basically. Cue the waterworks.

It's only just begun, however. Tonight is my (and my friend Anne-Gaelle's) big fete de depart, ie, going away party. I am going back to the US of course, and she is moving to Boulogne-Sur-Mer, on the Northern Coast of France, to start a med school internship. So tonight pretty much everyone we know is coming to the house to party together one last time. Then, starting tomorrow, I will be saying goodbye to some of my incredible, wonderful, amazing roommates. Joel is leaving tomorrow afternoon for vacation, and Laura is leaving shortly thereafter. Finally on Monday I will head to the Brussels airport to spend the night before my Tuesday morning flight home. I am beyond ecstatic at the thought of seeing all my friends and family again and getting back to "real" life, but at the same time, my heart is breaking at the thought of leaving everyone here. Thankfully, most of my friends who aren't going back to the US will be staying here in Valenciennes for another year, so I am going to be saving as much money as possible to come back for a week or two, hopefully in the fall. But still, where did the last 7 months go? Didn't I just move here yesterday? Or last week? Sadness.

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