I'll start off by telling you what I've done so far.
This morning, I woke up at 5:30 and quickly put some clothes on before heading out the Xátiva, where I caught the metro to the beach. I met Jess and Macy there, and we sat on our towels and watched the sunrise. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
We stayed out on the beach until about 10:30, and then the wind scared us away. We decided to go all out, and so, for the 3rd time in 3 days, we headed out to Palmaret to have horchata at Daniel's.
We came back into the city around 12:30, and I got home around 1:00. I hung out downstairs with Matilde for a little while, and then we had lunch: eggplant al horno, with a rice dish including garbanzo beans, chorizo, and some veggies. Also, for dessert, we had strawberries and whipped cream again. It was Matilde, César, Miguel and me, and they made a toast to me... "Que regreses a España muy pronto". That you come back to Spain soon. I had to bite my lip to keep from crying.
Since then, I've been packing up the last of my things, and writing notes.
In a little bit, I'm going to meet up with Jessica and Macy at our meeting spot. One last time. We're headed to the Torres de Quart, after which we're going to meet our friends for a goodbye get together in the park. I'll come home around 9:00 for the last dinner with my family, and then Matilde, César, and Marta are going to take me (and maybe Lindsey) up to the Mestalla, where we will meet the rest of our group and the bus to Madrid.
And that will conclude my journey here, in Spain.
I've learned so much these four months.
The language, of course, is the most obvious. I feel like I'm at a conversationally fluent level, although I still have so much more to learn. It's such a blessing though - being able to communicate with so many more people than before. I find comfort in the fact that the Lord has clearly put a purpose in Spanish for me - I'm excited to see what it is!
I've also learned a lot about evangelism. The way my friends love each other, but even more, the way they love the lost in Valencia, is so encouraging. In the Bible belt, religion is viewed so differently. Here, the number of believers is so few that religion is never a topic, anywhere. But my friends, my amazing, incredible, God-serving friends, make it a topic. And they never drop it. I love that.
I've learned so much about myself, as well. Little things. Like the fact that I CAN live in a big city - almost preferably. Or the fact that I'm a huge fan of museums. I could stay in a museum all day long. I also learned that I like comfort zones - and that's something I've had to learn to get past. The Lord has put me in so many uncomfortable situations this semester, but I've learned to embrace them instead of fear them.
Leaving Valencia is going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done. Saying goodbye to the people I've come to love more than my own life. My friends. My host family. Jessica and Macy and the rest of my classmates.
However, I know that although my four month study abroad program is over, the Lord will still continue to provide me with new adventures and romance me in new ways.
So, although I am coming home with a heavy heart for what I'm leaving behind, I am returning with joy and anticipation for what is to come. And in every circumstance, I will be content.
Now, I conclude my blog. Thank you for all who have kept up with my life while I've been 1.000's of miles away. I'm excited to see each of you again, face to face.
Until my next adventure...