7 days. I like to say this in the same manner as the caller on "the Ring", however I will not be dying in seven days, but doing something much more awesome. Seven days ago I was supposed to board a plane with the other students from my district and make my way to my new home in Brasil. Today I received my Visa in the mail (my departure was delayed due to some late paper work) and in seven days I will be boarding the plan along with another exchange student, Marie (who was also delayed for the same reasons and who will fly with me the entire way because we live in the same state/district about 5-6 hours apart), and starting my journey.
Every day I announce the remaining days to whomever I happen to be around, most of the time my family, and I get varying results. In the beginning I'd get a "hmph. okay, well you still have to clean your room". Now I get an "are you sure you really want to leave?".
I started packing July 30th, the day I was originally supposed to leave, because I figured it would be best to start organizing early. This has proved to be helpful because my remaining seven days are heavily planned, seeing as I have to spend as much time with as many different people before I disappear for a year. Thank goodness I have less shopping and packing left to do.
I've never had an insane need to hang out with friends and be busy every day of my life, although I do enjoy company quite often. I've also never been this busy and away from home as I have been the last week. Granted most of the time I'm with people my sisters are involved but I am missing out on the peace and quiet of being able to curl up in a chair and read a book for half the day, there just isn't enough time. I feel like I'm trying to get done everything that has every been dreamed up in our minds, all of the things that have been procrastinated over time, as well as things I have to and should get done. However this does seem fitting, I am and always have been a procrastinator-it makes my life a little more exciting.
As for the language, I've been doing everything except preparing. I remember telling myself I would study more with my extra two weeks, and I try but it's hard to focus on especially with no one to speak it to. I try and study vocabulary and I also attempt to talk to my fellow exchange students already in Brasil and all the people I know in Brasil only in Portugues, but this sometimes requires me to use a translator to check my sentences. Too bad I can't use a dictionary, my 501 verb book, or a translator when I'm there.
Something I don't truly comprehend, and probably won't until I am a good week or two into Brasil, is the fact that I have already said goodbye to people and I won't see them for a year. I've never liked goodbyes, they seem to definite and they make me sad when I shouldn't be. I said my first official goodbye to my brother when we left his home in Wyoming around July 20th. Ever since then I have been saying little goodbyes to friends and family, sometimes I know it'll be the last time we will see each other and other times we just part without realizing we probably won't run into each other for another year. I used to think 'oh, don't worry I have a month and 1/2, of course we'll hang out and see each other' but due to busy schedules on all parts I'm slowly realizing that it just isn't possible anymore. I definitely don't enjoy this new realization. However, as sad as I am to be saying goodbyes and to not get the chance to personally say goodbyes to some people, I have never been more excited to throw myself into something where I only know a handful of people, something with no guarantees, and meet tons of new people whom I will share my next year's experiences with.
I'm in for an adventure :)