This past week has been a true whirlwind of emotions and activities. It all started Sunday as it was our final and goodbye group dinner. The 6 of us, our wonderful host families, our academic coordinator Felix, our housing director Pablo and our cultural advisor Arianna, met at a beautiful restaurant overlooking the Coruña harbour. We had great tapas (the Spanish empanada was delicious!), took numerous photos and reminisced about the past 9 months abroad. We were all shocked that this year has come to a close, as it seems like just yesterday we arrived in Coruña by train, nervous beyond belief as to what lay ahead of us. But we all agreed that those nerves were completely unnecessary, as all six of us had a fantastic year abroad.
On Monday I had my last English class with Pablo. I have been teaching this nine year old boy since late September, and I was quite sad to say goodbye. His English improved greatly over the course of the year and it made me realize how hard it is to teach a language. So, thanks to all my past Spanish teachers, I now realize how truly challenging your job can be! Also on Monday I had my last class in teaching Spanish to the Senegalese immigrants. I starting this activity in October for my required ICIP (Independent Immersion Cultural Project) but as the year went on I fell in love with the activity and developed strong bonds with both the fellow Spanish teachers and the Senegalese immigrants. The last day was a party, complete with Bisap (a Senegalese tea), chocolate cake and a Senegalese dance party. I am officially an expert in the art of Senegalese dance…kinda.
Then today, at 7:00 PM Coruña time, I completed my junior year! Woo! After struggling through a three week study/exam period, I was beyond excited to turn in my last exam. However, as soon as I finished jumping up in down in celebration (literally) I realized that this meant the near end of my study abroad experience, and my time in La Coruña. On my way home, nearly everything I did was thought of as my last. My last time seeing the University, my last time riding the bus, my last time saying goodbye to Kelsey after art class and my last time coming home after a class. Thankfully, I still have one more full day in Coruña and intend to walk by nearly every point in the city that has made my year extraordinary and extremely memorable. While this post has been somewhat dramatic and nostalgic (sorry!), I will post again from home with a complete reflection of my time abroad. Everyone´s final posts for the study abroad blogs (look at Amanda M´s) are always very good, reflective and often tear jerking, so I am quite nervous to make a final post…and also to admit to the fact that my study abroad experience is basically over!
And as another last…this is the last time I will blog from this side of the Atlantic! (gasp!)
Trying to dance…
The whole group
English classes with Pablo!
My Spanish mom and I!
The whole group, families and all!
The 6 of us Crusader Coruñesas!