Today we leave Boa Vista at 3:30 for Gilbues. In Gilbues we will catch a bus at 5:00 that will take us on a 14 hour journey to Brasilia. We will arrive in Brasilia at 7:30 am tomorrow. Then, we will wait all day at the airport for our plane to leave at around 9:50 pm.
We are at our last breakfast right now. Actually, we finished eating about 20 minutes ago. Now we are sitting here teary-eyed because we just said goodbye to our main field assistant- Arisomar. He stopped to tell us bye on his way out to work. My heart was beating so fast when I hugged him that I will never forget it. He kept us safe every single day this summer. He is the sweetest and kindest man... Allison and I both owe him so much more than what we have here to give him. I'm sad.
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Time was passing so slowly. We were all thankful for that. I began packing soon after breakfast. Packing was easy- I just threw everything in my bags. Needle grass, dirt, and ticks included. Real quick. Lunch was wonderful. We took pictures. We all talked and cried randomly.
Junior have me a ring he made for me. Maria gave me a golden grass keychain and told me to always think of her when I see her. Of course I will. I cried when she gave it to me.
I didn't have anything to give anyone.... But I dug through my packed bags to find makeshift gifts. I gave Maria my Brazilian flag. She said she would hang it up in the living room next summer during the World Cup. I gave Marcio my UGA hacky sack. I gave Mara a golden locket mirror that I've had for years. I wrote a little message in it for her too. I gave Marta my blue Polo Club sunglasses. She absolutely LOVED THEM! I was happy to be able to give them something... But they all deserve so much more than I had available to give.
I've never been so sad to leave a place in my entire life. The tears were so real. Marcio cried so hard... He held us each and cried. Like a baby. We each held him back and cried. (It's made me tear up to reminisce about his sad eyes.)
Maria told me to come back again. She laughed and said that I was such a surprise... She said I was so quiet and shy at first. She said, "we had no idea that you were like this!" She made me feel so happy. And thinking about hugging her goodbye right now is making feel horrible.
Marcus told me good luck. He meant something to me.
Marta smiled her beautiful smile while telling us each goodbye. She is such a sweetheart.
In all, it hurts me. It hurts me to know that we barged into those people's lives, connected with them, then ditched them. Who are we to do that? "It's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all." I've always had a problem with that saying. Losing love hurts and is not much better than anything. But...Maybe it makes sense in this instance. Even though we are all miserable now, knowing them and loving them is a good thing.
We have all added each other on Facebook. And I will see them again.
Then we rode out to the bus stop in the truck we arrived in. Then onto the bus, 14 hours. Then a whole day in the airport of Brasilia... Where I spilled beer all over my pants. Security knew what was up. Oops.
Then I sat on the plane with a newly engaged couple. Two gorgeous people. They were holding their hands out admiring their matching rings. Congratulations, kids. And good luck. It wasn't even annoying sitting with them all cuddly. It was sweet.
Then I got off of the plane. And here I am, in Dad's kitchen. And I'm not even scared of you humans. And I'm not scared of my future. The whole summer is over... But besides that- you know what I learned this summer? That I'm kinda cool. A lot have things have changed for me, you guys. I'm happy. Thanks for reading this.