I am leaving on Wednesday, 10:30 am, O’Hare-> Miami-> Lima -> La Paz -> Cochabamba. I think everything on my to-do list is completed, but I will inevitably worry about irrational eventualities all day tomorrow.
Today was my last day at work, but because it was spring break, I missed many of the people I wanted to see. However, the happy faces and hugs I received filled me with joy, I cannot wait to see everyone in June. My going away party was on Saturday, it was was full of food, drink and fun. Both of my beautiful sisters and many of my coworkers were able to attend, those warm thoughts and memories will last well beyond this trip. Thank you Margie, Bean, Matthew, Nick, Ana, Aaron, Joe, Andrea and Mac for coming by and celebrating with me. Also, major thanks to Christina for providing some delicious singani for the festivities and the professors at MOL for their kind, supportive goodbyes. I know when I leave Bolivia, I will feel like my time was too short and will equally miss the people I leave behind, but at least I know that I am coming back to a city and people I adore.
Now onward. The road ahead is exciting and fraught with minor (yet irritating) challenges. My study will be on environmental grassroots movements in Bolivia and will involve three NGOs and countless people, both Bolivian and American. Much of my study will be based on conversation and those who know me understand that I speak better Portanol than Spanish, Quechua or Aymara. I can only hope that the Spanish I learned during my 6 months in Spain returns within a short amount of time so I will be able to communicate effectively. Speaking a language is much like riding a bike; you may not have needed it for a long time, but when you do, the skill comes rushing back. That’s how Portuguese has always been for me and I trust that I will readapt to Spanish in the same way.
That’s really all for now, just my worries and saudades. Tomorrow will be a long day of packing and cleaning, but when it’s finished, I’ll be on my way.
Let’s go live life!