Saying goodbye

Amma Thomas - Ecuador


March 11, 2017

My host mother and sister left for Germany this Tuesday and they won't be coming back till April 12th. To give a little background I switched host families mid December, even though I decided to switch late November it took a while to find a host family. After much deliberation my host mother bought two tickets to Germany, later that day my team leader called to notify my host family that I'd be moving in. My host brother lives in Austria and my host mother hasn't seen her family in five years, it was much to late to change their tickets by the time I arrived. The whole time I was living at with new host family I knew that my host sister and mother would be leaving before me so I thought I was prepared to say goodbye . We are coming to the part in the year where we're ready to go home but we're appreciative of out time here and know we're going to miss it, in other words we're ready to leave but not sure how to say goodbye. This didn't hit me until I was huggIng my mami from across the rope divider at the airport, as I watched my mami and sister walk through security it was my favorite part of Ecuador was leaving it just didn't feel like home anymore. It wasn't until I was saying goodbye that I realized what making a new home really feels like as I saw a little piece of that home walk away. Even though I will most likely visit Ecuador again and visit my host family it will never be in the same context, I will no longer be their daughter living in the same house. Having to say goodbye has shown me how deep the relationships I have forged here are. I'm finally starting to realize how much my cohort has become like another family. How much I'm going to miss the tíos and tías in Juncal and San Antonio, the apprenticeship supervisors who greeted me with a smile even if I was late from sleeping in yet again. I'm really going to miss Ecuador and as my journey is coming to a close it's really sinking in how formative and transformative these last few months has been. I am glad that I got this lesson a little sooner than other fellows so I can use these last three weeks in my host community to show everyone who has been part of my Ecuador experience how truly grateful I am for everything they've done for me this year. 

Amma Thomas