The host family, my best friends and the entire village demanded visits and time during my last week here. I spent long reminiscing about what it was like when I first arrived (i.e. poor Armenian, confusion over water availability and frustration with rowdy children in school) and how so much had changed over the last two years. If I had 300 dram for every time someone said the time had flown by so quickly I'd be able to buy a plane ticket to America.
I managed to visit most people I needed to see and pass out 'phone call cheat sheets' to everyone who may like to call me in the future. I had half the village practicing: "Hello, mei name iz ____" "Mei I have Sera".
The last night we spent at home, with people stopping by to say goodbye during our horovatz. My two best friends came over and stayed until I knew they couldn't keep their eyes open any longer...the family stayed up all night waiting.
We managed 8 in the car and after walking single-file up the car ramp and into the airport (we weren't sure about parking) I presented them with a scrapbook I had made from my two years in their home. As they flipped through the pages of our lives together they began to cry and I realized that the goodbye would be more difficult than I had anticipated.
I made them leave the airport before I went through security, shuffling them out the door and telling them to get back to the car. I told them to call so I wouldn't forget my Armenian and handed Donara my phone so she could keep in touch.
As difficult as it was to leave, I'm excited about the next three weeks of travel ahead. Beijing here we come!
Introducing Emelyn Ruth Bornstein
1 year ago