I've been watching a lot of Arrested Development lately (it's hilarious), and one of the main characters is a magician. He uses the song "The Final Countdown" as a build up to his magic tricks. So when you read the title of this blog, I hope you sing it in your head like I did.
To be very honest, I have been thinking of and wishing for this day to come for quite a long time. Soon after arriving, I knew that this year was going to full of challenges. I knew that this was going to be hard, and with every day it seemed that a new obstacle presented itself. It's not that I ever really wished the challenges wouldn't happen, I would just wish I could fast-forward and come out on the other side having learned a lot of valuable lessons but not have to experience all the growing pains. It's kind of like when you're a kid and you are just ready to be a grown-up.
The problem with kids wishing to be grown-ups is that they don't realize how awesome youth is. Assuming you are a kid with loving parents and a decent socio-economic status like I was, being a kid is great! You get all your food provided for you, and you get to hit really awesome milestones that allow you to gradually get more responsibility but never have too much. Once one reaches adulthood, one spends their time wishing they could have enjoyed their youth for what it was. (Now there's bills to pay, trying to find and keep a job, what are taxes?!)
I guess what I'm trying to say is, coming upon the end of my experience is a lot sadder than I was expecting it to be. It is so hard to say goodbye to the families have made me feel like a part of them. It is hard to think about moving away from this place that has become home... to not have the option of walking up the street to the market for fruits and vegetables, the bakery for muffins, and one of the many look alike tiendas for a 7up. It is hard to say goodbye to all of the kids in Central and Cooperativa, who to this day still run to give me hugs when I arrive. It is hard to say goodbye to the beautiful view outside my window, the opportunity of being able to easily go to different lake towns. It's hard to go back to a place with dishwashers and automatic flushing toilets... where I feel like water is just wasted.
Instead of being sad, though, I am trying to reframe my sadness as gratefulness. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to immerse myself in a culture, become part of a family quite different from my own, build relationships with beautiful children and watch them grow and learn, and become accustomed to a completely different way of life. Not many people have that opportunity, and I truly am appreciative of this experience.