Summary of my trip
Los Angeles Travel Blog› entry 10 of 12 › view all entries
As I got home less than 12 hours ago, I haven't had a ton of time to absorb it all. A few thoughts fleet through my head. I will never look at dirt and rocks the same - without a ton of respect for people that move and work with them! I love the Portuguese that I met. Absolutely wonderful combination of smart, flexible, funny and kind. I can't wait to go back and visit Irene, Camilo and Ricardo in Portugal - the thought makes me unbelievably happy and excited. Maria and Vera and I have made separate plans already for me to visit them in the countries that they will move to soon.
What else.. Portugal is beautiful. Braga is reminscent of Napa Valley with their gorgeous landscapes and plentiful vineyards. Grapes were EVERYWHERE. Vinho verde is fantastic.
In addition, Portugal is very likely the last known bargain in the E.U. I've been to France, Switzerland, and London in the past year and things have gotten very expensive since the Euro took hold. Portugal was very much the opposite, with food and products still being very cheap. The food is wonderful, the people are even better.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, I don't feel as if I got out of this trip what I usually get when I take a chance and plunge into something new. I think it's because all of my trips recently have been very intense, very challenging, and I've been around people my age who have similar interests, similar life questions, etc and these young people were just open in the most surprising and delightful ways.
Tanzania was just mindblowing on every possible level. Geneva was equally amazing and I learned so much there. This trip.. what can I say? I met a dozen wonderful Portuguese people and I have a few hundred pictures of our construction site. I also have a bad taste in my mouth from some of the Americans, some serious doubts about whether the ones I actually liked will stay in touch, and I have a longing to go back and experience it properly.. as far as trips go, it was a push if anything.
I miss Mary's crazy cackling.
I miss hearing Margarida explain things in her lilting, rhythmic tone.
I miss Karen saying "What's up girlie girl?"
I miss "hot chocolate to eat".
I miss Camilo's wisecracks.
I miss Ricardo's calm and polite manner.
I miss Irene's enthusiasm for my photo of Stefano ;)
I miss Vera's smile and wonderful hugs.
I miss Maria's Marlene Deitrich poses.
And I wish I had met Sandro before the last freaking day! You know what? I am just grateful that I get the chance to communicate with all of them almost every single day. It makes me think this world is not as cold and harsh as it seems. Small update also, I finally caved in and sent out the pictures to my ungrateful group yesterday around noon (9/19/07). Only 2 people responded with thank you's so far - the leader and Eileen!