I remember the day I left Eastbourne (England) very vividly: it was on Saturday 14th August and it seemed unreal to me, I could not believe the six weeks were already over. I had to give up all of the habits I had developed during my stay from one moment to the next. I could not believe that I would not wake up in this town anymore, this town where, thanks to the St Giles International school, I met my friends every morning, each of them from a different country, with a different language, culture and pronunciation of English. I could not get used to the idea that after 42 wonderful days, I was leaving this life behind me.
Before you travel to an unknown place, you always have expectations; different ways of looking at things, and you end up imagining things that you would like to see when you arrive. Nevertheless, I would never have imagined that this 6-week experience could bring so much to my life.
I could fill thousands of pages with memories, adventures, and anecdotes… I could spend my whole life telling people how this trip changed my life – but even so, they would not understand, as there are things you just can’t express with words.
It is true that we all experience things in our own way, but when you communicate and express what you think through a language that is not your mother tongue, your perception of things changes. As far as I am concerned, that’s how I communicated with a Swiss girl and I remember our conversations as well as I would if we had spoken in Spanish together. We could talk about any topic for hours (in English of course) and we could understand each other perfectly. It was a very special relationship that I will never forget; neither will I forget the bonds that formed in our large group of friends.
But this is not all, I still haven’t talked about a very important part of my stay: the family, this other affective link that guides and supports you at any time during your stay. Sue and Adrian were wonderful hosts! Welcoming, friendly, protective…
The separation, this painful moment that was bound to happen, was difficult, but the stay was worth it and I can assure you that I would not have changed anything to it for all the money in the world.
The summer 2010 brought many new things into my life, there is no doubt about it, and the best aspects of this trip were that I could grow as a person and meet a new family and establish genuine friendships with people who, while being far away, remain close to me. A real gift.
The only thing that cheers me up right now is to know that in a few months, this year, I will embark on the same adventure again.
Thank you to everyone who gave me the opportunity to achieve this dream.
Ana Marín Faraldos.