Well, I am starting to wrap things up on the homefront. I leave in a measly 9 days, and I am feeling it more and more each day. (And a paper update: I am down to 12 papers left! My goal for the day is to break into the single digits. I thought I would warm up my writing with a blog!)
Anyway, the goodbyes have begun. Today I went up to work for my "goodbye potluck." I still teach 3 more times, but because I work in the evenings I don't often see everyone at once. It's a bit odd because while some of the people are relatively new to the IRC others I have known for 3 years now. Afterward I was chatting with a couple of our caseworkers who are from Rwanda and Burundi and they told me that there are fantastic African neighborhoods and restaurants in Brussels. One said that he has 4 sisters living there. I feel better knowing that if I start to miss my students I will be able to just follow the kangas and brightly printed clothes to that part of the city. The other caseworker said that the neighborhood I am going to be living in is full of good food (even if she did also say that it was really loud and always had fights!). My Latvian coworker told me she has an old Latvian friend in Brussels working for the EU. It somehow makes me feel better that I could run into someone with a connection to home while I am there. I am also really excited to be living in such an international city.
So yeah, the goodbyes start to get rough, especially for the people that I won't see when I return, but it's amazing to think back over all the great experiences had and the wonderful people I have gotten to know these last few years out here. It's a good start on the goodbyes. (Saying goodbye to my students won't be so easy! But more on that later...)
Anyway, we had some sweets to make it all go down more smoothly. Above is my "BYE" banana pudding, and below is my ESL/book cake my coworker made for me.