I left my home in Stonington, Connecticut in late August thinking that 7 months was a ridiculously long period of time. I thought I’d miss all my friends and my family, and I thought I’d want to come home before my time was up. Oh, how wrong I was. Of course, home is still home, and I miss my loved ones, but what I didn’t account for in August was that I would soon find a second home with the people I hadn’t yet met. I’ve been immersed in Ricaurte, Azuay, Ecuador for 5 months now, and I can’t imagine what my life would have looked like if I hadn’t chosen to take this gap year. 7 months now feels like far too little time.
On the first night I spent with my host family, I must have looked scared or sad at the dinner table because my host mom took my hand, squeezed it, and looked into my eyes. She said “Abigail, no se preocupe. Pasará rápido el tiempo.” “Abigail, don’t worry. Time will pass quickly.” I smiled and nodded. I started counting down the days until I’d be home again. Yesterday, my host mom smiled at me again and said “te dije que iba a pasar rápido y ya ves? Pasó rápido. Ya falta poco tiempo.” “I told you it would pass quickly, and you see now? It passed quickly. There’s only a little time left.” It was and is true. Time does pass quickly. But for me, the meaning has changed. What was once a source of comfort has become a source of dread.
I am painfully aware of how short a time 2 months really is. Before I know it, I’ll be saying goodbye to all the people I’ve grown so close to. Over the next month or so, if all goes according to plan, I will be writing a series of 7 blog posts dedicated to the family that took me in and treated me as if I were one of them. Les quiero mucho y les voy a extrañar.