Hola! I have been avoiding writing this last post for a while because it has been hard to face the fact that my journey of a lifetime is finally over. The last week that I had in Spain was absolutely the best week that I had in Spain. But before we get to the good stuff, let´s talk exam week.
As I have mentioned before, the schooling is crazy different there. So all semester we did not have any homework or quizzes or tests or anything. You just simply show up, listen to the professor, take notes and that is it. At the end of the semester there are either final papers or final exams, or in some cases both. For me, my finals consisted of two 15-20 page papers, another 10 page paper, 2 exams and 2 presentations. Needless to say, it was a rough end to the school year.
We still do not know our final grades, but I am hopeful that everything went well enough for me! Now, let´s get back to the fun stuff.
Unfortunately, my plane ticket was booked for 2 days before the biggest festival/celebration in all of Alicante called las hogueras. Instead of trying to explain it, I recommend that you just google it. I will tell you the basics, but I am not an expert by any means on this topic and by seeing the actual pictures you will want to instantly fly to Spain to experience it. Anyway, all year long there are people whose jobs consist of building these gigantic hogueras which are taller than some buildings in the city. They are designed after anything and everything and they just look insane, you really need to google it. I believe the celebration is a total of 4 days, and during those 4 days all 80 something of the hogueras are brought out into the city and then they light them on fire. Yes, that is really what happens. It is crazy and I am hating myself every day for not changing my flight. The thing is, it costs 1000 dollars to change your flight and I just told myself that instead, I will just make sure that I come back in a year or two to see them!
There were 2 nights of parades while I was there to kick-off the beginning of the hogueras though, so I was fortunate enough to see both of those with my host mom. We had been bonding so much in the last month and it was so nice to have her taking me around to see everything. In the last week the two of us went to the beach a number of times, went to her friend´s house for lunch, stayed up until 4am just talking and watching movies, saw 2 parades, she taught me how to make paella, and just so much more. I am going to miss that woman more than words can express, and it was so heartbreaking saying goodbye to her and the rest of my host family.
Now however, I am finally home. The end of my journey has finally come, and I couldn´t be more sad about it. I am leaving behind thousands of memories and lessons that I will never forget. The experiences, the memories, the people, the lessons, the life that I lived there will never be forgotten and will always be a part of me. I can never fully express what I have learned or learned to appreciate being abroad, but I do know that it has changed me and shaped me into a more mature and appreciative person, and for that I will always be grateful. Adios España, y hasta pronto.