• I am excited to read in English again <3.
• I am going to miss the Spanish immensely. I have a few friends who are native speakers, and there are language-based events and groups in Portland, and of course I will still be taking Spanish courses, but it is not the same, it is just not the same as being surrounded by it. I would choose the year long program next time, if for no other reason than the language acquisition. (But for other reasons as well.)
And, in the same vein, voy a extrañar mucho el español chileno.
• I am excited to go home to Portland’s foodie-culture. It doesn’t even have the best Mexican food, but oh, how I miss it terribly.
• I am going to miss the vibrance of this city—the street vendors, the musicians—which are both illegal in Portland without a costly permit—the multitude of ferias (markets), and in general, the hustle and bustle of big city life. This sort of activity somehow makes me feel more connected with people, like, there is no middle-man; you are dealing with people directly.
• I am excited to return to my small-town-big-city, where people smile more, and in general, are more friendly towards strangers en la calle. It is an entirely different rhythm here.
• I will miss the street dogs, or as I put it before, dogs as inhabitants of the city. And I know this is an odd thing to say, as it is in many ways a problem, but it adds a different energy to everyday life.
• I am so excited for Portland air, for Portland water.
• I am going to miss the street art. I know graffiti isn’t everyone’s favorite thing, and there is a huge difference between street-art and “tagging,” but in so many ways it adds so much color to the city; it permeates the monotony and grayness of daily life. It has been described as the language of the street, and I think that is beautiful.
• I will not miss seeing Nestle logos, everywhere.
• I will miss the dancing tremendously.
• I am excited to be home. And this is a huge one, because it is all about context, and it is all about culture. I don’t know that I have the words for this yet, but it has something to do with being able to express myself, and about understanding and being understood. Being here has made me so much more aware of cultural differences, and how they shape one’s perspective, one’s way of thinking, one’s way of moving through and interacting with the world around them.
• And the flip side to the last one, which is also huge: I am going to miss being outside of my comfort zone.
• I am so excited to get back in the darkroom, and to play guitar.
• And of course, my friends, my family, my community. I am so excited to spend time with them again.
These are just some feelings.