Today, on this day of thanksgiving, as members of my family gather with generous friends who have invited them to their table, I will be standing in a classroom, 6,623 miles away, with 20 or so students who are there in body only, their minds and spirits already on a plane to Interlaken. There is no Thanksgiving in Spain, there is only gratitude for each moment, for every day.
I have been away from home for two months and 22 days. It has flown by in an instant; each wonderful, glorious minute of it. There are precious few days left, 44 to be exact, and I'm trying not to count.
We are a diverse bunch, the 55 or so of us who have taken this journey together. Artists and history buffs, linguists and wannabees, rappers and crooners, Brits and colonists. We speak together in separate languages, walking our own ways on the same paths. One step and then another. Running, walking, dragging our heels. Sometimes, but not always, looking back.
We traipse through museums and wander down the naves of massive cathedrals snapping photographs of things too glorious to capture. We sample food that we had never even heard of, listen to songs that we have never sung. We travel to places that challenge our perspective, push us to our limits and confront us with our fears, only to fall in love and promise to return one day, even if it is 32 years from now.
Some days we are shaken from our blissful trance to remember that life is happening back home. Things continue as they always do whether we are there or not. We pause to remember. We miss our pets. Our friends. Our families.
And then we continue.
There have been too many sights and sounds to recount. Too many challenges we have overcome. Too many surprises we have witnessed. Our cameras are filled with images. We hope they will help us to remember. There have been moments that have brought us to tears, stories that have made us laugh, sights that have filled us with awe. We have grown, together.
On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful. 44 more days. I'm trying not to count.