Italia: ti mancherò!Siena, Spring 2009
I just returned from one of my daily walks with my host sister, Elisabetta. I’ve become so incredibly close with my family, closer than I ever thought I would. Everyone I talked to before I left told me I’d be so ready to come home in May. I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I DO want to see my family and friends, and I’m so, so, SO ready to see my sweet dog…but I don’t think I’m ready to go home. I can’t believe I leave Siena in five days. Every time I think of closing this chapter (the most exciting, whirlwind and adventurous chapter in my life so far), I just put the scary thought out of my mind and tell myself it’s not true. Well, in five days, I won’t be able to avoid it any longer.
I’m really going to miss all the butterscotch houses with kelly green shutters. I’m going to miss the clothes hanging from every available window on a sunny day. What else will I miss? The food: the various types of pasta that precede each meal and the loads of distinctive characteristics I discover each night about the assorted wines from my host dad. Market day: the little old women with fire-engine red hair who storm the bus each Wednesday morning. Gelato: because ice cream, though you may think they’re the same, just can’t compare. But most of all, I’ll miss my wonderful Italian family who has won a very special place in my life.
Every time I get off the bus near my house, I make myself acknowledge and realize where I am. I’m in Italy! I’m looking at rolling green Tuscan hills! I think it’s easy to be synthesized to such beautiful scenery, so lately I’ve been trying so hard to soak everything in – every whiff that I catch of my neighbor’s roses while walking up the stairs to my house, every bite of pasta and fresh tomatoes …or steaming caffé that my host dad makes each morning…
Last night, instead of studying for my Italian final exam that was this morning, I went to the carnival that’s in town this week with Elisabetta and a few of her friends. I like to think that I was “studying Italian” in a creative and hands-on sort of way. I can study for a test in America. I can’t bounce around in bumper cars with Ely there.
I’m trying to name at least one thing I’m looking forward to at home so that I’m almost as eager to go home as I’m not excited to leaving Italy. I’m trying to notice how much these four months have changed me into a better (?)… well, at least into a more independent and experienced person. I’m trying to realize that I’m so lucky to have loved every single moment here. I’m trying so hard to be thankful that my time in Italy has passed like lightning.
I’m trying, but it’s hard.
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