365 days ago today

This time last year I …

… said goodbye to a lot of people. Too many for one 24-hour period.

This time last year I was coming home.

Final selfies
Final selfies

It was my second last day in town, last night in town. It was a bit of a whirlwind day, and yet the image preserved in my mind is clearer than the photo you see above. This was the final selfie of the day, before I (reluctantly) called it a night. This was the final selfie – but a LOT of photos preceded it.

I spent the morning and afternoon at a farewell barbecue in the country …

Vilcabamba

… then over to El Sendero (which was now no longer “work” or even a cafe to me, but rather a “drop-in” centre for unscheduled farewells) …

2013-08-12 Loja 16 copy

… followed by dinner with a friend …

2013-08-12 Loja 19 copy

… and quick drinks at La Mancha …

La Mancha

… before I rushed off to a friend’s place for jaffles and that group selfie.

Oh, and there were impromptu farewells in between. And an invitation to see another group of friends – that I had to turn down. There were people I wished I could have said goodbye to, but didn’t get to see. There were some satisfying goodbyes, and some that left me wanting. There were goodbyes that were repeated (because we didn’t quite know how to part), and some that were never really said.

 

Has it been a whole year already? I can hardly believe it. I am not the same me now as I was then. I was not the same me then that I had been two years earlier, when I arrived. It seems the older I get, the faster time flies. Exponentially.

Today, I am home in Australia – but with that same bittersweetness I tasted leaving Ecuador a year ago. I don’t set off for Bolivia for another six weeks but already there is talk of farewells and sadness, and in the air there is a vague, unspoken question mark of what if I stayed?

2 thoughts on “365 days ago today

  1. Well done Ann for the church works & sacrifices you have put in a year ago. You have won so many hearts and friends which you truyt deserve.. And now I wish you well for your term of service in Bolivia.

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