This is the blog post I wrote after I came back from the USA, SUSI program.
After spending 5 weeks with a group of 18 wonderful people from all over the world, plus the amazing people who organized the program, I came back home, but still can’t get back on track. This amazing experience influenced me a lot. I can’t say changed a lot, but, proved some thoughts and beliefs that I have had. I am a richer person, in many ways. My friend Emilio from Mozambique would say – “I like to listen more than I like to speak. I listen, and I observe. And I learn. And then, when I understand and it’s clear in my head, then I might ask a question. One short question. To the point. Essential. That’s it. “
I have some answers, but I have more questions, and that’s great. Keeps me going. Exploring. Learning.
Reading Murakami again, What I talk about when I talk about Running. It works again. It is an amazing memoir of a runner, and only those who run can actually understand it and appreciate it. Runners are special species. Different.
Running is an individual sport, and you can only do it as alone. If I see two people running together, I know it’s for fun. When running, you have your own rhythm, and it’s difficult to adapt to someone else’s rhythm. Plus – you don’t want to adapt.
Runners are strong individuals, they have a strong will-power. It takes a lot of effort to make yourself run regularly (whether it’s every day, or three times a week, or – actually, you should run at least three times a week to be able to call yourself a runner).
Anyway, I gotta go running, so, here it it, the post:
Past five weeks were like a dream.
I lived, I learnt, I enjoyed, I explored, I hiked and biked, walked and talked, joked and laughed, I sang and danced, said goodbye and cried. There is this place called Big Sky Country, and Land of Shining Mountains, and The Last Best Place, and, I will add one more – the place where people are so nice, friendly and welcoming.
One can leave Montana, but Montana will never leave one’s heart. It takes a piece of your heart, and claims it forever. And, from time to time, when you hear a song, see a picture, or see a cyclist pass by, you get this pang in your heart – bitter sweet – love and longing kind of feeling. It’s SAUDADE.
So, SUSI gang, listen, I miss you so much, I miss USO, brothers and sisters, this guy that lives on a tiny dot in the Pacific;
this crazy artist, always filming all our precious moments, and always late for our lectures :);
and, there is this guy, I mean, let me tell you, he’s from Nicaragua, and he is actually amazing.
And, then, HABIBI, from Tunisia, does it make a sense to you?
Sierra Leon calling, the phone is ringing during the lectures, but, it’s important, wife calling. Love this guy to bits!
Girl from Thailand, her announcements, and photos.
China girl, the sweetest of all, who managed to stay on fb after going back to China 🙂
Mozambique – always speaking in Portuguese with me, ’cause I asked him – I wanted to practice the language.
Two people from Greece, one of them crazy for shopping and finding the best bargains, the other one, super gentleman, always there to lend a helping hand.
Then, there is Uruguay, PERHAPS, PERHAPS, PERHAPS.
We were all very careful not to leave any food on our plates in the Food Zoo – thanks to the girl from Cameroon.
Kyrgyzstan represented by this woman who likes rope climbing and likes to play Indian games.
Chile guy with the most beautiful smile, and the worst space perception – just like me (not the smile).
Montenegrin girl, the bravest one, for sure, and the most caring. Love you!
Bisous, bisous to our French mademoiselle.
Then, one girl who is not only an English teacher, but also a psychologist, and a very cheerful person, I call her butterfly.
Last, but not least, Namaste to the best roommate.
Also, love to these people who made our dream come true:
Deena – our Mum
Rob – who we called Rob, as simple as that – and he called us – gang 🙂
Pat – he has his own classroom management techniques – which worked fantastically with our group. Also, once he asked Tok to tell him about our schedule:)
Meghan – crazy
Monica – sweet and helpful
Maddie – bringing back the stuff we would forget on the van
Logan – always smiling
Saudade is a Portuguese expression that is almost untranslatable. The best way to describe it is: the presence of absence. It is a longing for someone or something that you remember fondly but know you can never experience again. It is an awareness of the absence of a person or thing, which puts you in a deep emotional state of sadness. The presence of absence grapples with those who should be here but aren’t. It is a form of homesickness and deep yearning. You are among thousands of people but none is the one you want to be by your side. Saudade is the moment you realize how important people are in your life and the moments you have taken for granted. (