2016 Fall Richelle Kota


It’s occurring to me that the program Is nearing its end. As I write this, I believe only 2 weeks of class remain. I had a breakthrough this week and am finally feeling like I have grasped some sense of reality and have been able to go places without always looking for directions. I have found things and places and people to spend time with when I feel lonesome, but have learned to reserve my alone time to a reasonable amount of time.

I have just learned through the weeks that writing post cards to my pals and family makes me feel really at ease even when I am extremely stressed. I love seeing things in different places and thinking of how one of my family members would be amazed by being there. The other day, I stood on a street corner and closed my eyes. I imagined 17th & Walnut Street perfectly like I was standing right there and walking to Rittenhouse square. I wonder what stores have closed down and which ones have become incredibly popular. Using that felt like a means of coping because I thought about how I will be able to see that scene once again and feel completely in my element. I have been knitting again which has allowed me to be able to stay warm since I lost my scarf, but also have found a lot of comfort from it.

My tutoring sessions have been helping with my Complu class immensely and I am deeply submerged in speaking Spanish almost all day. I can see the progression of my tolerance for speaking Spanish even when I am extremely tired or upset, it is nice that I am able to wake up and immediately engage in a conversation in Spanish and even be extremely sleepy and also begins and finish a coherent conversation. Coming off of last week, I wasn’t the most excited to still be so far away from my friends and family that I feel need me.

I was able to join my friend from middle school, Gomian, for her 21st birthday in Paris, France. There, I was also able to see my Temple friend, Christopher.

I was able to find strength and healing by seeing friends who were also going to be affected by the president elect and who had kind words to share. Paris was beautiful, but I really feel like I am taking advantage of the things that I see in Madrid. I have been trying to go to an art museum at least once a week until I leave because they are phenomenal and full of so much life.

Finally, obviously, when the program is ending— I’m actually encountering what I have wanted this whole time. I am finally finding out how to not be bothered by the things that used to bother me and am still being determined and hard-working at soaking up the cultural experience as much as I can. I don’t know if I could have said these things to myself earlier, although I wish I could have, but finally I have a sense of relief and that feels lovely.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: