I left palmar on sunday night and I am on a plane tomorrow night: destination- home. I don't know how two years have passed. It feels like i am only just beginning. Leaving palmar was so much harder than i ever thought. So many tearful hugs and kind words that just melted my heart. I guess you find out a lot when you leave. I think leaving makes us honest and willing to say all those things that we assume that other people know. But no one ever really knows until it is spoken and communicated in actions. I spent so much time worrying that i wasn't a good enough volunteer and fearing that i would fail.... but the way that my community reached out to me in my final days let me know that I am loved. I ate so many lunches and dinners with various families and so many people took the time to thanks me and share how much they were going to miss me. And it's hard. It makes me so uncomfortable- being thanked like that. But it's really wonderful too. I also had the chance to thank them. My friends at neo juventud and the whole community of palmar welcomed me into their lives without question and they accepted me as their sister. And as for me-- two year outside of my country and far from my family and culture- I needed that. I remember leaving two years ago on june 18th, 2007-- My mom dropped me off and the airport and I remember wanting to ditch the security line and just run back after her and go home where things were safe. But i didn't and that decision has changed my life forever.
These past two years weren't easy. But I wouldn't change them. I will miss my palmar family so very much. But it really isn't good-bye because they are my family now and I will be back to visit.