Well sadly my time has come to an end in Spain, and it was a rough last few weeks. After my friends visiting and heading to Rome for my birthday *POOF* it was my last week in Bollullos. When I came back I had students coming up to me whinning “no te vayas Ammmmyyy,” “don’t go Ammmmyyyyy!” My response, “va a llamar la junta y les dice Amy no puede regresar EEUU,” “Go call the Spanish government and tell them that Amy can’t return to the United States.” Surprisingly many of them ask for the number to the Junta. Sadly, I had no number to call and I’m pretty sure that the rules of the EU are kind of serious.
As my last week came to a close and I had to say good bye to my classes, it was hard to explain to them that even though I was coming back to Spain in the fall, I wouldn’t be coming back to Bollullos. It was rough. I wasn’t ready to leave my kids and my coworkers who had become my Spanish family. However, my students were the wise ones, they told me that I had to go to Malaga and learn more things and come back to visit to tell them all about it. How is it that my 1st level students are wiser than me?
It wasn’t any easier saying goodbye to my kids that I tutor outside to school. These families were amazing. Not only did they understand the importance of learning English, but they also were super open. They invited me to dinner, evening snack time, and even activities outside of Bollullos. Plus it was time where I could really connect with some of my students I saw in school as well. I was truly sad knowing that I won’t have them next year.
Then my last day came. OH BOY WAS I NOT READY FOR IT. I came in 5 minutes late as I had learned over my 10 months there. My 1st level kids were awesome, they showed off their English skills, each one smiling from ear to ear as they answered my questions. Then, I headed off to my 3rd level kids who decided I needed to sent off with many different football cheers with my name inserted:
During class I was pulled out by some of my 6th level students who told me they had a English skit for me prepared (totally normal), and when I walked over to their class it was NOT a skit. It was a farewell fiesta. Churros, flamenco music, farewell gifts and all of my 6th level students, WHO, I might add, I thought hated me all year.
So I hadn’t cried in like an hour, the tears started coming again, and I was instantly surrounded by my coworkers telling it was OK and that I needed to be happy. HOW COULD I BE HAPPY WHEN I WAS LEAVING ALL THESE AMAZING PEOPLE!
Once my last day was over and I cried about 5 more times. It was time for my shift my focus: packing. WOOF, it was going to be rough. I came to Spain with two large suitcases and my backpack. However, like any girl in Europe, I bought waaaayyy too much stuff. However, before we let the fun begin, we had to have a few more meals with some of the awesome people I met through my program. It was hard saying goodbye to my coworkers and students, but it was a whole other story saying good bye to some of my closest friends, especially my girls reppin it in Huelva. No words can describe how these people shaped my time in Spain. If it wasn’t for these people I met through CIEE, other Language and Cultural assistants, and other random expats in Spain, I probably would have had to work a lot harder to create some of the awesome memories I have now. I am so unbelievably excited for this next year, so many of my friends from this year will be returning for MORE awesome experiences!
Once the goodbyes were said (with a few more tears), my roommate Catherine and I spent two pain staking days working like hoarders: separating our various things into trash, donate, and keep piles. Let’s say it was rough for both of us, and we could have used Doctor Zasio to support us through the tough fight. Since I was heading to Sweden before I went home, I had stricter weight restrictions on my Ryanair flight (Again, why do I fly with them?) than on my flight home. So it was a struggle for me, and yes, I did leave my giant suitcase there (weighing probably 80 pounds).
Then came our last Saturday in Bollullos before I headed off to Torremolinos and Catherine to Madrid. Of course we started our day with Candy, the local cafeteria, for our daily dose of tostadas and cafe con leche (don’t worry the last week we at there every day). Then we took one last vuelta, turn about, the town and reminisced about all of the awkward times of catcalls, awkward old men calling us guapa, and other interesting interactions.
As my “to-do” list continuously got smaller and smaller as the cleaning lady finished cleaning our house, we finally succeeded at packing, and we had our final breakfast at Candy, it was time to leave Bollullos for the last time. It was bitter sweet: I was super excited to head to Sweden, but I also dreaded leaving my Spanish home. The time had come though, and I needed to prepare to visit my new school in Torremolinos as well as find a new place to live before I headed to Sweden! As I am STILL reminding myself that Bollullos is a train ride away and I have plenty of people who would love having me visit. It isn’t the final chapter of my time in Spain, if anything it’s just the beginning!
Catherine and I parted at the Sevilla train station, I to Malaga and she to Madrid. It was sad, but I know that I will definitely be seeing her again (AKA Catherine, you will come to Malaga!). I began my new journey: Torremonlinos. I won’t talk too much about it now because I still have yet to discover everything the city has to offer! Within my two days in Torremolinos, I did a lot:
In the end, as one chapter ended, I began a new one! I am truly super excited for next year and cannot wait to head back! It will be a completely different adventure! Thanks to everyone who has bared with me through this journey, and I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings! Stay tuned for next year!
I know I have used this quote before, but it honestly explains everything:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain