Ive been trying to work out this really depressing blog post about how Peace Corps Mauritania got evacuated, but I havent been able to figure out how to express what the past few weeks have been like. Stressful and emotionally draining and tearful, definitely. But Ill tell that story another time.
I just finished the first leg of my trip back to AMERICA! And this is just so much more exciting than any story about terrorist attacks and abandoned friends and family. (Thats not to say that Im not a little bitter, if you cant tell, ha. Ive actually been refered to as a "refugee" in the past two weeks.)
The trip is going to take about 48 hours altogether. I flew out of Dakar, Senegal at 12:30 this morning and arrived in Madrid around 7 AM. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep on the plane, and Ive been sick, so I was a wreck when I got into the airport here. Luckily a couple of people had started a little slumber party on the floor in a corner of the airport. It was kinda like a free hostel without beds. There were four or five good sleeping spots in that corner. I curled up with my bag in one of them, and a half hour or so would pass and Id wake up and there would be completely new people passed out in the other spots. Like musical spots to sleep on the floor.
After a couple of hours, I was feeling a lot better, so I decided to come into town. I literally just picked a metro stop on the map in the station, said to myself, that looks good, and went. Just my luck, the first thing I saw when I came up from the metro station was....STARBUCKS!! Yay globalization!! I didnt even get anything, but it was pretty amazing just seeing that happy green sign. I wandered around for a while checking things out. This is my first time in a Western city in 14 months. A little overwhelming, but AWESOME. I forgot how pretty things can be! People in the world actually DO build side walks and drive cars without the doors falling off of them and grow grass! GRASS!!!
I would up at this gorgeous park full of trees and fountains and benches and people just hanging out enjoying the non-sweltering weather. Not gonna lie, a tear or two came to my eye. I never realized how much I missed these things. And this is in some random city! I cant imagine what its gonna be like to be back home. CANT WAIT!
Next stop: leaving Madrid tonight around 6:30 for Paris. Hopefully Ill be able to check in from there. Let you know how it goes!!