Goodbye, Cuenca

28 Jul

I’m sitting in the airport in Guayaquil, using the free WiFi and listening to the terrible jazzy renditions of songs from the past 30 years. I left Cuenca just a short time ago, and I’m wondering how I’ve gotten here. How I’ve already left the place I living in, volunteering in, teaching in for almost 11 months. It’s surreal, if that’s the best way to put a word to it. I spent my last days in the city as well as I could, making the most of the time with my friends. And now it’s over.

Last night I went out with some friends for one last beer, and at the bar that I was almost a regular in the owner gave us all shots of tequila on the house. A parting gift. And this morning I went to the bank, happily discovered that I’d finally been paid, and ate my last meal in the house with my host mom. My friend Jamie went with me to the airport and waited until she had to leave to go to a class. It was hard saying goodbye to her, mostly because she was one of my best friends down here, but also because it really meant that it was over.

I tried to get a look at the city one last time from the plane, but my view from the aisle seat was obscured, and the overcast morning didn’t help. So I closed my eyes and just tried to think about what I’ve been through. And now I’m getting ready to board the plane to Quito, for one last trip with a friend and then on to home on Saturday. It’s almost completely finished.

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