Day 27: Moment into Memory
Goodbyes are never easy, this stays true to the ones the Phenomena group had to say today. In these four weeks, all 15 of us have made multiple strong connections, whether that is with the locals, or just the community in general. No one wanted this day to come but it is tragic how fast it has arrived. Today was our last full day in what we now all call home, it started off like any other day but we all knew it was different. The first goodbye I had to say was to my group's Service Learning partner. We took one final photo with them which we promised we would mail to them once we had the chance and thanked them for everything that they had done for us. We told them that we would miss them and when they said they would miss us too, which made everything just a little bit more real. The next goodbye I had to say was with Ms. Ma and Mr. Yang. They helped me so much throughout my Inquiry Project and also became probably my closest local contacts. I visited them on a daily basis and made sure to say hello everytime I passed their bakery. This goodbye was the hardest one and I was not sure how to wrap it up because the fact is, I did not want to. The Phenomena group had our last 545 check-in at SiFangJie. While I ordering dinner today, I found it very difficult to process that that would be my last meal in Xizhou. After dinner, eight of us headed to Yang Nainai's home and she welcomed us and treated each of us with tea. When it came time to go, each of us gave her a hug and a big thank you, she is the brightest and most noble women we know, and I felt tears welling up in my eyes, but it is not time to cry, not yet. Xizhou is a beautiful place with the greatest people in the world. The memories this phenomenal group has created here will never be forgotten, but unfortunately it is almost time that this experience becomes the memory and not the moment. Each 15 of us have fallen in love with Xizhou and although we have already said our goodbyes, Xizhou will always be in our hearts and minds.