We just got onto the train from Madrid Chamartin to Paris Austerlitz (from there we go Paris Est to Karlsruhe to Frankfurt). Santiago, Ana, Ana, Marta, Teresa, Jaime, Javier, Ines, Juan, Antonio, Paloma, Alvaro, Javier, and Antonio escorted us to our train terminal as we said our teary-eyed goodbyes.
Over the last week, both Damian and I gained a new family - nuestra familia espanola (sorry for the lack of accents, I don't know how to do that on Damian's computer). The Olmedo/Chiva family went above and beyond the call of hospitality - we didn't feel like guests, we left like hijos. This train ride is the first time we've been more than a hundred feet from our hosts. We spent all of our WYD playing, exploring, talking, laughing, eating, drinking, learning, teaching, and living with the Pozuelo crew (Pozuelo is the name of the suburb that they lived in). I wouldn't exchange our experience for the world.
Santiago, his family, and his friends are some of the most outstanding people I have ever met. I love them, all of them, like I love my own family because that's what they have become.
I already miss Juan's pinches and bites, Princesa Ines' constant demands to be picked up, Javier's suave and cool, Jaime, el diablio, and his oft cries of "It wasn't me" (.......it always was); and Teresa, Marta, and Ana's exceptional maturity, politeness, and angelic demeanor. I miss Santiago's stubbornness, intense plans, happiness, and love of good food, Mahou, and candles. I miss Ana's cooking, motherliness, and "que sera sera" attitude. I miss chatting with Antonio, Paloma's gazpacho and utter warmness, and the polite, intelligent, and always smiling Alvaro, Javier, and Antonio. I also miss everyone thinking that their English was awful when it was always fantastic.
I miss Ana's brother, Miguel, his wife, and their kids who were all more than happy to welcome and talk to us.
I already miss everyone.
Muchas gracias por todo. I honestly cannot thank you all enough for everything, literally everything!
Until next time! (Alvaro, you better visit us when you're in DC!)