For some of us this is the last day in Oviedo. Some leave this afternoon for Madrid, some leave tomorrow, and I will get on the 12:30 a.m. bus to the Madrid airport Sunday morning. It seemed so long ago that we were waiting, scared, nervous, anxious, on a corner in Oviedo for our host families to come and pick us up and take us away. We now are very familiar with the city. We know where the bus and train stations are. We know where Mcdonalds is. We know where the cathedral is, and we have our favorite bars, restaurants, discos and study places. We know Oviedo. There are many people to thank. I enjoyed my host family, Mari Luz and Jose. A couple older than me and extremely warm and friendly. Each day I would have lunch with Mari Luz and her daughter Isabel. We would sit around the table and I would often try to explain the grammar I had learned that morning. Thank you Mari Luz for all your great meals and clean laundry. Thanks to Jaime Duran the director of the program who took us to great restaurants, held our hands when we needed help and helped out so many times, and shared Spain with us. Thanks also to Jose Luis and Jose Manuel the two other professors of the program who, along with Jaime, really made us laugh and want to study hard and learn. I had a grammar class with a few other Temple students with Enrique,our professor. He was fantastic with a great sense of humor and a quick wit; he made the class a treat to attend.
At dinner last night we all got up and either appreciated someone, or everyone, or thanked everyone. It was a special night to see how much everyone got along. Here was a group of people who about five weeks ago were strangers. Last night it felt like we had known each other for many years. After dinner we went to a little bar that had become the Temple meeting/study spot and danced late into the night.
We will miss you Oviedo. We will miss the ability to stay out past 2 a.m. and dance. I will miss the weather, I’m not looking forward to an August in Philadelphia with the heat and humidity. I will miss the compactness of this city. We walked everywhere. Though I never went to the beach, I will miss it. The last two mornings I have heard seagulls making their distinctive cry. It’s comforting to me to know the beach is close, I’m not sure why. I’ll miss the people and the food and the Spanish. I came to learn Spanish and fill my mind with the sounds of Spanish. I have learned much but I want more. I will be returning. For this reason I say “Hasta luego, Oviedo.”