Well, Rome, its been a blast. You have introduced me to a world of history, beauty, culture, frustration, language barriers, pasta, extra weight gain from so much pasta, annoying street vendors, travel skills, confidence, and friendship. I completely admit to the love affair (sorry Jon) I have had with you for these past few months. But the time has come to say: arrivederci! It is time to take this experience and bring it home with me. I am ready to embrace my family, tackle my sweet friends to the ground, kiss my boyfriend and eat some chipotle! All vital and important things to my little heart. I am ready to share pictures and stories,while reflecting on my time here. I will miss this place, there is no doubt in my mind. I will miss having the opportunity to walk to the Vatican on any given day, pray in these ancient churches filled with relics from Jesus, bodies of Saints and and the pure beauty and grandeur they encompass. I will miss seeing Papa B (because yes, I got to see him 6 times!) I will miss having the opportunity to travel all around Europe. I will (eventually) miss the perpetual supply of pasta. Oh sweet baby Jesus, i will miss the cappuccinos of perfection i indulged in every morning. I will miss the people, the friendships that I have been blessed with this semester. I will MISS ROME.
I have been living in this tension all semester: soaking up every ounce of goodness Italia has to offer while missing my people back home. But now that I am leaving in 2 days eeeeeekkk the tension is heightened. Will this really be the last time my taste buds indulge in some Old Bridge nutella Gelato? Will this be my last annoying 45 minute wait for the 990 bus? Will this be the last time I see some of these people who I have lived with for the past 4 months? Rome has become such a large part of my heart that it is going to be terrible to say goodbye to it. I am not saying 'Ciao' forever though, because obviously i have thrown multiple coins in the Trevi Fountain, ensuring my return to Roma. But this opportunity to spend 4 months in this eternal city was a one time deal. And hell yes, I know how lucky and blessed I am to have had this fantastic experience. I will forever be grateful for my parents for providing me this immense opportunity. It has been the best experience of my life. I am one lucky girl.
It is amazing to look back on some of the first pictures we took here. I never would of thought I would look back and think "wow, I look so different." And its not my physique per se that has changed (although the pasta may or may not have gotten to me a little... slash my hair has gotten long and luscious-errr) but I'm different. I feel so much more experienced through these four months. I feel like I look more mature, like I can tackle the world and whatever it has to throw at me. Pretty powerful stuff.
So now, I'm signing off for the last time. I guess its time to say "Send Me On My Way" again. But this time I'm heading back to the Land of Oz, good ole' Kansas for another wild, crazy, and quite different experience: another summer at Camp Tekakwitha. Bring it on.