A Whole Bunch of Goodbyes

|Author: Vero|

It took seven weeks for me to feel like Bangalore is a home. Not my only home, but a home. It was the little bits of martial arts that found their way into my life here in India, that changed the way I looked at things here. It was the kickboxing classes and having a dojo to go to, my own little group to train with even thousands of miles away. It's having people join me as I stubbornly did more and more pushups, even if I do the last couple of sets poorly. Especially, it was having people show up to learn self defense - after only knowing me for seven weeks, people still wanted to learn things and considered me at all adequate to teach them. It's not going to seem like much, I'm sure, but that was when Bangalore really, truly felt like home, because to me home is happiness, comfort, and pride.

I hate writing should-be emotional things down on paper. I'd rather just say what comes into my mind as I look around the room at the people I've spent the last two and a half months with. Some of you I know better than others, but each one of you has widened my horizons in some way since we've been here. You've all taught me so much about myself, directly or indirectly, and reminded me of just how interesting and full of depth people are. I'm truly thankful that I got to know each of you and your lives, because each one of you has taught me something I'll bring back to Seattle. I'd like to thank you all for that, and I hope you know they go way beyond just typing them out. It's people who make experiences what they are, and I owe a lot of experiences and thoughts in these last few months to you.

Unfortunately for everyone who listens to this and reads this, I'm also saying goodbye to UW and school for the foreseeable future, so, extra sap time. I don't have much to pat myself on the back for during my last four years at UW, but I do have ending my degree with this program, at the same time as my best friend, to be proud of. I have people in my life who are incredible, and many of them I met in the last year and a half. A big part of my ability to leave UW with a sense of complete accomplishment is this program, because I've now lived abroad and worked on something meaningful using my degree. I've checked off all of the stereotypes you hear before you enter college: I've grown more than I thought possible, I became best friends w my best friends, study abroad changed my life, and I met amazing people while in another continent.

Goodbye GCIL, goodbye UW. I can't wait to start the next chapter of my life with the people who I met in this one.

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