When I think about being in Salamanca or try to tell someone else about my experiences there, I feel like I’m in a fog. It’s almost as if I was never there and I’m telling folks a fairy tale of sorts. To have explored a foreign country and return home is a very surreal thing. I didn’t expect to be watching my children play and think about the kids playing in the fountain at La Parque Alamadillo. Or go for breakfast with my husband and not being able to finish a good ol’ American pancake meal when all I want is just a cafe con leche and a croissant. Crazy.
I’m not sure that I even thought about what would happen once I returned home and to my routine. I haven’t had much trouble adjusting to my old life (strange to call it “my old life”). I’ve jumped back into the swing of things with both feet and I think I’m doing a good job of it (if I say so myself…and I do). But I feel myself fighting to hang on to my memories of being in Spain. I’m not quite able to express to my friends and family EXACTLY what my walk to school was like. Or what pinchos really are. Or how I really feel about being back home.
I may never be able to explain all that I gained in Spain through this wonderful opportunity Alamo College and the Gilman Program gave me, but I will always have my memories of this very special place. I am forever changed. I will never be able to fit into a cookie cutter mold. And that in itself has made everything worth it.