If you haven't been able to tell from my previous posts, I love it here. I love everything about this place. I love the way it smells. I love the way the dogs follow me down the street. I love the way all the kids know my name, and the way their mothers smile at me when I go by. I love sitting on patios with neighbors, talking about nothing and laughing about everything. I love the way the stars shine so clearly after it rains. The sound of cows chewing. It's freezing at 7AM and boiling hot at noon.
In Spanish, there are two words for missing something or someone. Extrañar- to want to be with that thing or person, the emotion of missing, and Faltar- to lack something, for there to be a part of you that is gone. This second verb adequately describes how I am going to feel about this place when I leave.
I've spent this week mentally saying my goodbyes to everything. Checking off all of my "lasts." Needless to say, it's been difficult. But God sent a blessing my way yesterday. Yesterday we went horseback riding, drank coconut milk straight from a hole in the fruit- fresh from the tree, I rode a burro, and I held a rooster. These things may not seem like much, but I had so much fun and all these things felt like parting gifts from Los Higos, with love.
When I leave here, a little piece of me (or a huge piece, Please Jesus, not too big!) will be staying behind with these people and this place that I love so much. And though my heart feels like it's breaking, it's full. Full and happy and loved. Everything that this place has done for me feels like it's being packaged and gift wrapped for me to take back home and put under my family's Christmas tree.
Merry Christmas, Kati! -from Los Higos and Jesus.