Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bittersweet

Last few days in Spain... *sigh*

Andalucia is a truly wonderful region of Spain. I spent last week in Granada continuing with my Spanish classes (while unfortunately battling a bad cold that I caught at the end of my last volunteer program).  There was definitely a lot of resting, but I did enjoy the city.  I listened to all my Spanish friends and booked my ticket to visit La Alhambra in advance, but apparently if your head is cloudy from all the cold medicine and you are struggling to focus during your classes all day, it is possible to get your days mixed up.  I showed up on Wednesday to find out that my reservation was for Tuesday. Very "un-Nancy-like".  After going back to bed for several hours, I was able to book another visit on my last night in the city. It was really beautiful to experience Nasrid Palace at night, but I didn't get to see much else of La Alhambra due to the timing.  Looks like I will just have to come back!

I am in Sevilla now for the end of my travels in Spain and it is bittersweet.  While I am excited about what lies ahead,  I am having a hard time with the concept of moving on.  My heart (yes, believe it or not, I have one) is telling me that it's not ready to leave yet.  Finishing in Andalucia makes it even harder because the people here are so friendly, so warm, and genuinely welcoming. I spent 20 minutes talking with the woman at the "lavanderia" when I dropped off my laundry! She spoke Spanish and a little Arabic, and I speak Arabic and a little Spanish so it was a little bit like a comedy skit but we made it work.  Even being in Sevilla for only a few hours, I already have a similar feeling here.

Ok, before I start getting all sad, here's the plan for the next few weeks -

Because my flight to Macedonia was booked back when I was planning to spend some time in Italy, I need to head to Rome next week.  Coincidentally, a friend of mine will be in Italy for a wedding at the same time which is awesome because he's been to Rome a few times (and I believe speaks some Italian) so not only will I get to see a familiar face, I also won't be completely lost. Transitioning from Portugal to Spain had been a little tricky after only 10 days so I can only imagine what I'm going to be like when I head to Italy after being here for 2 months. 

After that little detour, I will be in Macedonia for 10 days working with HFH again.  I found out this week that we will be working at SOS Children's Village.  It's a non-governmental organization for children with no parents, who live in a community of houses, each with a "mother", in a home-like setting.  We will be doing some rehabilitation work on the facilities to improve the living conditions.  After what may prove to be a challenging week both physically and emotionally, I will head to Thessaloniki, Greece for a week before returning to the states for a quick pit stop to get ready for the next phase of my journey.

I can't believe how fast the time is going!

~ N