First of all, last weekend I traveled to Avon, Indiana, to visit my Egyptian host brother Gaser!!
It was a long drive, but it was so worth it! :D
I honestly can't believe we met such a short time ago; now it feels like I've known him for years.
We talked endlessly about our exchanges, and he told me a lot about his family and his culture. I'm sad I won't be living with him in Egypt, but I'm glad that I have someone who's in my shoes, going in the opposite direction, that I'll be able to talk to and relate to extremely well, because both of us will know where the other is and what he's going through very well. :)
|the two of us :)|
Next, I had a real blast to the past when, a few weeks ago, I met up with my student teacher from the fourth grade!!!!
In my city, Ann Arbor, since it's a university town, many elementary school classes also get a "student teacher," or in other words, a college student who's studying to become a teacher.
And it turns out that mine went on an AFS semester program to Finland in high school!!!!! Therefore we had lots of things to talk about :)
I also had a "blast-to-the-future" of sorts when I met the Egyptian girl that my family will be "AFS cousins" for this year. It was really cool to meet her, get advice about Egypt, and practice some of my meager Arabic. Haha!
I'm glad that my family isn't actually hosting an AFSer this year though, because I would feel like I'd be missing out!
And starting yesterday, began the long lineup of pre-departure parties! First my friend who I've been very close to since the second grade came over, and we had an amazing time. <3 We talked on and on about anything and nothing, laughed heaps, and never stopped having fun.
And then today I had seven of my amazing friends from my school come over! We went canoeing in a park near my house, and then came back to my house and simply talked and laughed for hours! We also had a birthday cake to celebrate my EXTREMELY belated sixteenth birthday. And, I gave everyone (my friend from yesterday included) personal letters to be opened after I've gone.
Many of them also got me gifts!
In short, this was amazing and beautiful in so many ways, and I feel so blessed to have all the amazing friends I have in my life. :')
|I took this while we were canoeing, obviously|
|my delicious "birthday" cake!|
|my friends singing to me :')|
|all of us gathered in my living room talking :D|
On another subject, one of the questions that I've been asked the most, even by my own family, has been "has it started to freak you out that you're leaving so soon?"
Until very recently, I would have said no. My departure was simply too far away to think about it very seriously.
But now, with only a week left until I leave my hometown, I'm beginning to freak out.
As my friends and I had many hilarious conversations and played all these fun games, I finally began to realize, "I'm going to miss this. And I won't see these people for a YEAR.
It's not like it was news to me, but it really sunk in for some reason.
But we will keep in touch, and I'll be back for the next Fourth of July to watch the fireworks with them. :')
On a final note,
THE YELLOW LUGGAGE TAGS ARRIVED IN THE MAIL FROM AFS ABOUT A WEEK AGO.
If you are an AFSer, you will know that this has a huge significance.
And if you're not,
now you know. XD
|I don't think I need to explain what these are.|