16 December 2014

on leaving for nine months

Two days from now, I am going back to Minnesota, where I'll be until February 18th. Then, I'll be in Chile until the middle of July, before heading back to Minnesota until the end of August.

That means I won't be back in Portland for about nine months.

That's a really long time. My housemates all feel pretty bittersweet about these next few days. On one hand, we get to go home, see our families, celebrate the holidays, relax, eat good food... but on the other, some of us won't see each other until the end of August.

It really hit me today as I spent the afternoon packing up my room. Because I'm going abroad, I'm subletting my room, which means I had to take down all of my posters, put all of my clothes in my suitcases and boxes, and take all of my notebooks out of my desk. My room is now pretty empty.
look at how cozy my house is!
I'm trying to make the most out of my last few days here. On Thursday, the first reading day, I went to the coast with my housemate Annabel and my friend Daphne. We went to Ecola State Park, near Cannon Beach. The view was gorgeous. We ended up not being able to hike or go down by the water like we had wanted to, because it was so windy. We also hit up the Tillamook Cheese Factory while we were out there, so that was fun.

the view from Ecola State Park
On Sunday, I went downtown to see a movie and go to Saturday Market. The weather was amazing- it's been in the 50s and sunny, which is really nice. To think that in two days, I'll be back in a Minnesota winter, is kind of a downer.

a beautiful day downtown
I haven't just been relaxing, though. Saturday was my first final, in colonial Latin American history. I think it went pretty well. I had to study a lot for it, but I felt well prepared. Then on Monday, I had my final drawing critique. I finally finished my 6-foot tall portrait of Jane Goodall. I'm pretty happy with it- there are some things I know I can change, but I like it overall.

my final product, and me for size comparison!
Tomorrow is my last final, in environmental education. I don't have to do too much to prepare for it, but I'm going to look through my notes tonight. It's mainly a reflection on what we've learned, and an opportunity for us to synthesis everything.

And then, I go home! My family has a lot of traditions around the holidays, so I'm looking forward to that. After about the first week of January my friends will be heading back to school, so I'll get to spend a lot of time with my family and my few friends that stayed in the Twin Cities for college.

I'm excited and nervous to go abroad. I know it will be a great experience, but it's just so different than what I've been doing with my life for the last 21 years. I will keep you updated!

If you have any questions, please email me at rekidder@lclark.edu!