Today I board a plane back to the U.S. I have been in Medellin for over 100 days. I have danced, I have cried, I have met new friends and missed old ones. My heart is heavy tonight knowing I leave yet I have nervous anticipation of facing the unknown head on. I believe in Medellin and really living here has changed me. I sit on the balcony overlooking another beautiful night. The scene is unbelievable. There is lightning in the Andes, the choir music from the church fill the air and fireworks are going off for the start of the Medellin futbol game. This city is full of life and differences from what I know in the U.S.
I will prepare the condo for vacancy but only for 30 days. I will be back in a month to complete my permanent visa and get a cedula. In November, I will return to the U.S. to see family and friends unsure of when I will return. If I am asked today, my home is Medellin but I will have two homes and hopefully spend a great deal of time in both.
I will miss the consistency of the weather. I will miss my walking the streets that always have something new to see. I will miss the people the most. The smiles, the short hellos and the long good byes. I will miss the views that amaze me daily. I will miss sleeping with windows open. I will miss opening the doors and bring fresh mountain air that immediately drops to condo temperature.
I am in love the Medellin. Yes, there are many quirks. The vendors using megaphones announce their wares. The need to be fully aware of motorcycles, taxies and bikes crossing every street. The car alarms day and night. The smells of fried empanadas. Standing in-line at the ATM. The inability to get your point across to a taxi driver but the rewarding times when you do. I have learned to value the differences and miss them when I am in the states. I also miss the market prices - enough fresh flowers to fill the house for $10. French cuisine for $11. A expertly crafted cappuccino for a buck. Fresh every fruits and vegetables available year round. I will miss the crazy cab drivers who know every trick in the book to get through traffic and charge $3.50 for a 30 minute trip. I admire the natural beauty of an unusual climate - tropical high altitude. I will miss straining on every word to understand. I will miss the innocence. I will miss the simplicity. I will miss the city.