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Say Hello, Wave Goodbye

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So, another year goes by and it’s time to pack up and set off to a new stage, a little uncertain as yet, but not for that reason any worse. I’ve always sucked at letting go of things. So, after some thinking about what to make of my last entry here, I’ve decided that I should make it short—as goodbyes are not for me—and that I much rather make this entry a thank-you note to all those people who have made of my year in the States something special, enriching, and life-changing in many ways.

So, to begin with, I will thank the people I’ve spent the most time with: my fellow TAs and housemates. I hardly think there’ll ever be such a nice group of like-minded TAs in the years to come! With you guys, any place would have been a great place to work and live in.

From Qian, our Sisi, I’ve learnt that, sometimes, small gestures are as telling as big ones and that sweetness can still taste sweet even when as spicy as your Szechuan sauces. Your pictures are a testament to a year that’s gone by in intense shades of red, green and yellow. From Fabien, I take that black isn´t necessarily a sad color and that someone can go without eating for days and pretty much act like his normal, rational self ;) . I will always remember you for your tasty desserts, your balanced personality and that bitter-sweet face of yours on the pictures, that smiles with the lips while remaining sorrowful in the eyes! From Cata, that patience and calmness are important virtues I should work more on and that we will never meet for lunch because when I say ‘comida’ you understand it as ‘cena’ ;) . It’s been a pleasure to work with you and learn from you along the way. From Kazue I’ll take her surprised stare at almost anything happening around her and her smiley nature. And from Ilka, that great friends aren´t always necessarily those you’ve known the longest for, but rather, those you know the best. You’ve made this year all the more so special and I won´t forget our mornings of kitchen-singing, our long conversations, and the jolly days.

But other people deserve to be thanked here as well, especially Willamette colleagues, teachers, and friends. Thus, I would like to thank the Spanish Department as a whole for the opportunity to work here at Willamette and their on-going support. The experience has been unforgettable and enriching and for that I thank you deeply. Also, a huge thanks should go to the staff members (and by now friends as well!) at the LLC for their support and guidance, their willingness to help and their warmth. You’ve provided us with a great work atmosphere and many a delicious after-lunch treats.

Also thanks to all those Willamette students and friends that have made this year something special. It’s not always easy to arrive ‘fresh-off-the-boat” into a new place, but there’s quite a large bunch of people that have always worried to have us ‘internationals’ participate and contribute to the Willamette community. To you a huuuuuge thanks. I look forward to seeing you all come over for a visit to Spain.

And so, with these words, I say ‘see you soon’ to a year that has allowed me to learn something more about American culture and about life on the West Coast of the United States. I find the West Coast incredibly beautiful and its people open and warm-hearted and will spread the word wherever I go. I just hope to get a chance to come visit in the years to come.

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