In high school, my friends and I were infamous for our long goodbyes. We’d hug several times, sing a song or two, and reassure each other with see-you-soons. I always hated not knowing when I was going to see a friend again.
This week has been a lovely time of being with dear friends, eating all the food I might not get for a year (movie popcorn, chocolate peanut butter cups…), and doing things like movies, gardens, and museums. But every time I say goodbye, I’m increasingly aware that I won’t be able to see many of these people in person for a long time. Long goodbyes now seem appropriate and necessary.
I’m thankful, of course, for things like the internet! Even though I won’t be physically present, I can still be part of my friends’ and family’s lives via pictures, videos, and messages. Most of all, I’m thankful for Yaciana, my buddy at UNIL, and the church I will be a part of! I feel very blessed to already have connections in Switzerland; when I first went to college, and later, when I transferred, I knew nobody at the schools. In a sense, then, I’ve already faced forging my way in a new environment twice! Yes, there’s a language barrier this time and yes, I’ll be thousands of miles from my hometown, but I have the confidence both of having done this before and of having already made connections in Switzerland.
And so, dear friends and family, I’m getting ready to set off! If you want to hangout before I go, this week is my last! By God’s grace, I’ll see you all when I return, doubtless with a good many stories to share.