I write to you all now from my rather bare looking room in the hotel. The case is half packed and on the bed. The wardrobe is empty except for tonight’s outfit and my travel clothes. I’ve hopefully used enough toiletries to allow for the souvenirs I’ve bought. But still, I don’t want to go home.
We started saying goodbye to staff last night, starting with Alvaro Senior (one of the bosses). Last year on our final night he had seen me crying over leaving and was quite concerned. This concern quickly turned to laughter as he realised why I was so upset and so yesterday as we hugged farewell, he told me not to cry. I, in return, wished him luck for the birth of his second child – he had accidentally let it out that his wife is 6 weeks pregnant. The idea of him as a dad makes me laugh so much! It’s funny when you see inside someone’s life for a minute.
At 5pm today we will have to say goodbye to a couple of others who we’ve known and grown fond of over the last 2 years – Angel and Alvaro. Definitely not looking forward to those goodbyes! But the worst one for sure will be José. He really has become a part of the family. Taking us for drinks, looking after us when we’re sick the next day (no Mum it definitely was not a hangover…) and just generally being kind and pleasant – I’m definitely going to miss him. After lunch today, he came and told us Rachel was making him sad already. I told him that we aren’t leaving, Rachel and I are going to stay and live with him. He laughed and told us the spare bedroom in his apartment is ours if we don’t mind sharing – of course we wouldn’t!
Whilst there’s a chance of us coming back next year, I’m not sure if he will still be here. It would be great if he was. Or even he could come visit us in the UK! He travels to Bristol and Bath frequently so a short flight to Belfast wouldn’t be a problem.
I can’t remember who said it first but a quote I found a few months ago comes to mind:
“I always knew that when I looked back on the times I cried I would smile. But I never knew that when I looked back on the times I smiled I would cry.”
Haha now laughing at myself as I sit here crying. The family won’t let me live this down!
Signing off for now,
Me and Rachel a few nights ago