My last week was packed. I had to cram in everything I needed to do before I left and everything I still wanted do before leaving, not an easy task. It was the last week of the summer semester so you can image the amount of grading that had to be done in order to give the students their final grades and sign them off for their vacation time, before the Fall semester began (academic calendar in Venezuela is slightly different than the US).
Once all the grading was done and the grades were reviewed, discussed and submitted, I was free to do fun stuff. I finally meet up with my friend Nico on Tuesday for lunch. We went up to El Avila and had the typical sanduche de pernil (pork sandwich) and juguito de durazno (apricot home made juice). We had a great time catching up and trying to sort all kinds of issues between men and women. I love Nick, he seems to never change and is capable of always making me laugh. Absolutely love him.
On Wednesday, I went over to visit Katy again. I had left a picture she had given me at her place and I went to pick it up, only to stay for a couple of hours to visit and chit-chat. Alejandro Andrés, Katy’s toddler is such a dream kid, so of course we played a bit too.
On Thursday, I went for lunch to El Brasero del Marques with my friend Tom, who is now engaged!!! Did I mention that? You do remember Tom, right? He’s been to visit me in NYC a couple of times. Well, you can imagine the amount of stories we had to share, and all the plans and planning we talked about. Their date is the 11th of December, which is also my nephew Nick’s birthday. I really hope I can make it, it would be a real treat to be able to attend.
Friday was errand day as usual. Mani and waxing were in order before my trip back, and buying last minute Venezuelan treats to take back to Liz and the kids. Oh how they love their Venezuelan treats. This was also the day of the international manifestation against Chavez, which I unfortunately, could not attend. My mom had left with the car early that morning and the concentration was taking place at noon, my mom showed up around 1ish, so I was left, as they would say in Venezuela “vestida y alborotada“.
Saturday was my last day and I packed most of the morning, and when I say packed I mean really packed. I was bringing two big suitcases, filled to the rims, a carry-on and and a had bag. My dad who was flying to NY that same day, was bringing with him the cuatro and another bag with more of my stuff. Anyone would think I was moving or something, crazy.
Saturday afternoon we had programed a get-together at my parents so that I could say goodbye to everyone at once.It was very nice seeing all my family again for the last time before I parted, but it was a tad bittersweet. I really did not want to go and everyone seemed to think I should stay too, which didn’t make my departure any easier.
My friend Flor, from college, came over. We hadn’t managed to get together so it was now or never, at least for this trip. We talked nonstop, it was great to catchup, but we realized we need to do this more often, the stories accumulate and then it’s impossible to cram it all in in one sitting. I miss my friends, especially these good, long lasting friends, with whom I have so much history. Why can’t we all be in the same place, or at last closer so that we don’t miss out so much of each others lives?
I had a great time in Venezuela. I fell in love all over again with Caracas, which still remains one of my favorite cities (along with NY, London and Paris) and it’s people. Even though Chávez is still there and we still have a long way to go in regards to dealing with poverty, delinquency, insecurity and the sort, you just can’t beat the awesome weather year round and the kindness and warmth of it’s people. I will miss you Caracas… I always seem to.