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August 9, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 28 (part 1- goodbye)

So sentimental right now. It’s hard to believe that after a month of solid friendship, camaraderie, team-bonding, and just all-around closeness, AID Summer 2012 is really over. I mean it when I say that these fellow students in orange have been just like a family to me. I’ve grown accustomed to seeing them around me and having them in my daily life. And now that I have to let it all go- it’s almost heartbreaking. Each and every friendship that I’ve built in the past 4 weeks have been invaluable to me. It’s something I’ll treasure for the years to come. We all know it’ll be very difficult to see each other again, but the possibility is there. Until then, we’ll Facebook and Skype, knowing that we’ll talk and cry and laugh together again in the future.

And then of course there are the few people that you know you’ll continue to interact with in your life. My buddy Ryan, for example, has been with me throughout the entirety of the program minus the first two hours. And he lives in California, just a few minutes away from campus next year!

Still sad though. Saying goodbyes and farewells was such a heart wrenching experience. Every time I hugged someone I remembered all the good times we had and all the fun experiences we’ve shared. I’ve eaten the majority of my meals with some people, or roomed together for several nights. I’ve survived wi-fi-less hotels and stayed up until the early hours of the morning with them.

Jiufen Ruiting group!

And of course Tiffanie just haaad to go and have a 10am flight in the morning, so I stayed up with her until 5am when she had to leave. I feel both cheated out of three weeks of not knowing her and fortunate for getting to know her better these last few days. All while mumbling, falling asleep, doing handstands, signing t-shirts, and talking until departure. I have no idea how she looks this awake at 5 am xD.

 

It’s hard to think back 28 days and try to imagine what it was all like before we met. It was never about the program for me, or the tour. It was the kids and staff I met at Jiufen and hung out for two weeks with. The five other awesome volunteer teachers I met. The people I ended up dancing with, repelling with, cupstacking against, eating with, getting lost with, and everything in between. Thank you, everyone, for the best 28 days of my summer, and for 28 days I’ll likely never forget for the rest of my life. I’ll miss you! Come find me in the future =D.

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