The last and final few weeks have been relatively smooth sailing, all things considered. I knew it was going to be an emotional time and have and am still allowing myself time to reflect and think about our time here. This blog has been so valuable to me as a way to remember the adventures and experiences we have had over the past six years. I have been laughing and crying through each and every post as I found photos and tugged on my memory cells to remember the details and experiences we have encountered on this vast life-changing journey. Memories have been stirred up that I had put to the back of my mind, and I now feel at peace that I have dealt more honestly and rationally with the lows that we have had. The shooting incident at the start of our time here certainly framed many other experiences for us. In many ways we chose to live as normal a life as we could and try not to worry about the security but the weight of Caracas has been on our shoulders since then and we have changed, adapted and grown as a result. It is important that I am honest enough with myself to understand and accept that it has been challenging and yet at the same time to feel absolute and utter pride with what our family has accomplished since 2007.
The connections we have made with people have been powerful and I know that it is not a goodbye for many. In my short nine years of international teaching I realize that the circle is small and that we will be teaching alongside some of these wonderful colleagues and friends again before too long. Mentally I have prepared and allowed myself to feel everything I need to feel. While somedays I have had to put on a ‘happy face’ to remain professional at work, I also have allowed myself to cry and laugh and remember. As I watch the three removal men wrap our stuff in cardboard and paper, bubble wrap and boxes and listen to the noise of the tape gun as each gets sealed, I am overwhelmed by how much this country and city has impacted us all and how much we have gained from being here.
The week ahead is going to have it’s own separate challenges; we are living in an empty house, Kira & Bethany need a lot of support and we are finally at the point where we have to say goodbye. At graduation this past weekend I cried with happiness as I listened to a colleagues speech about how much these kids have taught us and beamed with pride as the students I met in 7th grade took their last picture on the stage at ECA while their graduation caps were thrown above them.
I am looking forward to this last week with my wonderfully warm students, supportive colleagues and lifelong friends. It will be overwhelming, exciting and emotional but only because I have loved and lived this past six years with all my heart and soul. It is time to say goodbye, it is going to be emotional, it is going to hurt in more ways than one, and I am ready x