July 19, 2011
This seemingly paradoxical statement is a quote from Glycerine by Bush. I think it will end up being a major theme of my trip. I feel so supported by all my friends and family back home. I know that despite the distance, the last group is still with me. I do not feel alone.
But here I sit in a hotel. I’m currently surrounded by a new group of really great students and excellent guides. I’ve never felt more alone.
Tuesday evening was our final moments together. Those last few hours are so interesting. They remind me of a Sunday night for a teacher. We teachers always have so much work to do on a Sunday night, and it hangs over your head all weekend. You know what is coming the next day.
We all knew what was coming. I had to balance the account book and take care of other small tasks. I ate my first McClutch (Big Mac + Chicken Sandwich + Medium Fry all in one giant sandwich). I checked my email at Starbucks and got some decent news about the motorcycle. It will arrive on Thursday and the total port fees are around $650. (I can handle that.) We played some final president games, and I had the kids sign my newly acquired Spanish version of The Alchemist. But the moment came.
It always comes.
There were hugs, tears, laughs, loud inappropriate sayings…and the recurring thought that I will never see most of them ever again. I don’t like it.
I could write an essay about each student and their impact on our trip. I could try to relay the laughs, long conversations, and memories we made over the past few weeks. But they can’t be summed up, only remembered in wispy, fleeting flashes of amazing memories. Memories that will slowly fade with time, yet will still connect us for years to come.
The same feelings rise again as I suffer the loss of such an amazing group, and only have 60 minutes to deal with it before another group arrives. Fortunately, Carlos was there with his guitar. We played Si Quieres Bailamos, March, and Glycerine. Guitar music like this always soothes the soul, even when played sitting on a cement floor in a busy food court surrounded by strangers.
As I sit here at 1:30 am with a new group spending their first night in a new country, I cannot get the students out of my head. Thank you guys for an incredible two weeks. I will always remember you.
I love you guys.