Reflections

Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, 03/29/2018

As my last day in Las Palmas ends I have found myself reflecting on this adventure. I am grateful for the experience. Maybe one year was long enough. I should be sadder or more upset that it is over; but I’m not. I learned so much from the Mauritanians that I worked with. As I have said before, I felt more at home there than in Las Palmas.

The language barrier in Las Palmas was intimidating and surprising. I was never here enough to learn the language and the Spanish expats I worked with were not an option for practice. The best I achieved was the folks in the grocery store and local markets. They were anxious to practice their English.

Being in Las Palmas for six-day intervals every few weeks never gave me the opportunity to feel at home. As I sit here looking out at the ocean and the Calima weather affect, I know I will miss the ocean; but living on an island gets boring after a while.

I have been thinking back to the best times I had here in Las Palmas. They all revolved around family and friends. The best time was when Barbara came to visit. Partially because we played tourist and just hung out doing the kind of things we do in the US.

I was excited to make two friends at work. One Canadian and one Russian. When we were all in Las Palmas at the same time, we would get together. Them my Canadian friend was transferred to Johannesburg and my Russian friend had her rotation changed and we were not in Las Palmas at the same time.

The things I looked the most forward to were my trips back to the US to see family and friends.

The lesson learned was how much family and friends matter, and that I am such a creature of habit.

I am going to end my diary once I am back in Tucson, but not before I document the time I first spend in Denver and the road trip that Colette and I will take to get to Tucson.

After that, I think (at least for now) I will not be using my passport; but instead will sit back and breathe and see what lies ahead. Damn, still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!

Goals for the future are at least one significant trip (in the US) a year to meet up with family and friends. Places on the list: Texas, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Washington state. Be warned friends and family in those locations…I also have not given up hope of seeing the Northern Lights (maybe from Michigan) and Whale watching (maybe from Washington). Trips to California and Colorado will become the norm!

But for now, one more walk along the ocean until the Calima gets to me (Calima is a dust storm that leaves the dust in the air in the Canaries); so, these past two days it has been both humid and dusty at the same time.

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