Monday is the day! Monday I fly out of Spain and head towards Texas! I still can’t believe it is over. I have experienced so much in the past 9 months and I cant even begin to believe how it has changed me in more ways than one. From the things I have see and done and the people who have enriched my life for the better, I am truly blessed to have been able to live in Spain this school year.
As I have been thinking about this blog and how to try to express anything about my experience, I am truly overwhelmed as I am now putting it into words. This blog was never about me, not one bit. This blog was and is about sharing a journey about trying to figure out how to live life in this crazy place we called “the world”.
This so called world is way bigger than I ever thought. Of course size wise, but more importantly people wise which means heartwise to me. There are so many different types of people out in the world, but those people I learned the most from about life, myself, and others. People are so important to me. They hold such an impact in your life that you don’t really truly see or appreciate them until some type of dramatic event. This dramatic event could be under just about any condition, happy, sad, accident, or on purpose- no one chooses the condition of which one sees why that person made such an impression on your life. They just see it one day and that’s simply it. It is simply that moment that you realize how rich your life truly is from the inside out, and in that moment, you smile. So as I write this particular blog, I am smiling about the days of the past, the days now, and the days to come.
As I look back at all the places I was lucky to see and be in, I still am in shock that it all even was real. Starting my traveling adventures as a student 3 years ago to being an English teacher in another country, well let’s just say I could not be more happy with how life unfolded thus far. This adventure aboard I have taken the opportunity to see London and Scotland for my Christmas away from home, gone down to Africa to have a taste of Morroco, some more British culture in Gibraltor, a new Andaluz experience in Jaen, a night with friends in Malaga, too many adventures in Cadiz to physically count, quick weekend trips to my beloved Sevilla, and last but not least, some island fun in Mallorca to finish it off. That is a lot of stories, a lot of adventures, a million memories to keep forever, new friends, lots of Spanish, and a lot of Spanish tapas.
Even though I have written about all these adventures through out my time here, the most important and precious part of my experience has been the people I shared it with. I came here to serve precious Spanish babies and I had so much fun doing that. I didn’t fully comprehend how much I meant to those kids until they showed me in their homemade cards, jewelry, artwork, and infinite amount of hugs and kisses during my last week. I fell head over heals with my sweet kiddos and they knew it! After long breaks, I would always be so excited to wake up and see them the next day at school. Im such a nerd that way with school and teaching.
Those kids still run after me in the streets and yell at me from a mile away simply to say hi or blow me the sweetest kiss. I’m incredibly unworthy of this treatment, but they seem to think other wise.
Anyone who knows me, knows that I have lots of moods and they change just about as frequently as the weather in Texas. This being said my roommates are definitely the next set of people who I have shared a lot of time with through this adventure. Living with people teaches you a lot about yourself, others, and everything in between. I think I learned the most about roommates than I ever learned about them in college. I would not change this experience living with an American and a Polish girl for the world, maybe some moments yes but the overall adventure no way!
Haley, you of all people have learned when to talk to me and when not to talk to me through my change of moods. You have learned the smallest things about me that people don’t always recognize or see, and that is why I am most thankful for you in my life. I don’t have to say how you know to cut my apples in small pieces for you to know how much I love you. You know.
Lu, never thought I would meet a Polish girl in my life. My life was not ready for you, but I don’t know what it would be like without you now. You annoy the crap out of me with your flip flops and your potatoes from a box, but you and I can dance the night away and be the last ones out of whereever we are at the end of the night. On a serious note, I knew after that crazy 5 year old birthday party, with the same song playing the whole time, that you would do anything for me. Not many people would have done what you did that day, but I love you for it.
Kristin, I don’t even know where to begin with you. We have been through so much in our friendship, but somehow the Lord keeps blessing me with you in my life and I love Him for it. You have been my very good friend when I have wanted to pull my hair out this year, and you have always been an encouragement daily. I think I am most thankful that you shared this program with me. Thank you for sharing this opportunity, your friends, your home, and your life with me in Spain. One of my favorite days is hands down the day we talked in the park in Jaen. I loved that day.
Encarni, I am so lucky I had you as a coworker. I learned a lot about teaching and being a professional from you. Most importantly, I learned about your generous heart, which in my opinion is your most valuable quality and I was lucky to see it. Thank you for being my friend away from home and sharing your life with me. I will be emailing you so be ready.
Kaitlin Paige, you are my person. We could be in the same city, same state, different state, different country…anywhere and you are still there for me. I can’t believe you asked me to be your roommate 3 years ago and we knew so little about one another!! God had a plan, and He knew…He knew. You remind me daily about why we are across the world loving on others and teaching sweet babes no matter their situation or status. This is our passion, and I’m lucky I have a best friend who gets that and shares that journey with me. We have been through so much but we both know no one is going anywhere. I could care less where we are in the world, because I know we will always have some way for a weekly chat I love you as much as guacamole.
Liz and Chessa, thank you for being our family away from home. You girls have been there for me through a lot this year. I will always be thankful for our new found friendships. You both have distinct, but sweet personalities and I'm blessed to have gotten the chance to know you.
Mama and Daddy, I have no words to describe how thankful I am that you did not fight me when I said I was going to Spain for 9 months. That was a miracle! We have been through so much in the past 9 months, and I still am blessed to call you my crazy parents. I love you and cant wait to see you!
John, my favorite skype date in the past 9 months was with you. You may not remember the time change and when I am sleeping, but you know the perfect time just to call to tell me you miss me and love me. I cant wait to hug you and annoy you daily. Be ready.
Amigos de Barbate. Estoy super afortunada para conoceros. Mi tiempo en Barbate estuvo mas divertido con vosotros. Entonces ven pa’ca a los Estados Unidos en el futuro. Me gustaria veros en mi pais!! Recuerda que el mundo es tuyo y te puede ser que tu quieres. Me voy a echar de menos todos!
Kelsi, I love you my sweet Nurse! Thankful for you in my life. You are a constant joy and I could not be prouder of your accomplishments. Thank you for loving me a million miles away from home and always being there for me. You are an angel from heaven for being my friend! I cant wait to be with you way too much in Lubbock and eat lots of soy ice cream with you.
LP, life without you equals impossible. You have been such an encouragement to me from day 1 of this adventure. God really has outdid himself with our friendship. You have such a kind and sweet heart, and I am so blessed to be in your life. I am overjoyed that we will get to live in the same city again so soon and share a new adventure together in this crazy life, 2nd year Med School and First year teacher! I love you.
To wrap up, I am so thankful I could share my Spain adventure with these people and all of you. Thank you for reading this blog and I pray you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It has been such a rewarding experience to write it all down and share it with my family and friends. Without sharing it with you, it would not be as significant. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and love these past few months!
Get excited for my new adventure blogging about life as a first year Special Education teacher. Oh let the fun begin!