During my time here, because I like to walk, take photos, notice people, I have enjoyed getting to know Cochabamba and all of you, and also getting to know the life here in general — a life that is very different from life in the United States. Life in Cochabamba is full — full of an abundance of life. There’s so much color, so many beautiful flowers, so many things rich with life, yet at the same time, there is also an abundance of contrasts; for example, the life of the poor, which is so evident in the everyday routines of life in this city. I witnessed the contrast of their lives against those of the middle class, and of my own life, as I walked around the city and even to and from my classes at Maryknoll every day.
But, over time, I noticed that I have these contrasts within myself as well.
For me, life here has had its challenges. I have asked myself what it is I need to learn, and I have learned — once again –the importance of keeping my mind and my heart open — open to other people, but, also, open to myself as I face and meet aspects of myself in the midst of such challenges. I know that this is a lesson I will have to learn again and again throughout my life.
I want to express my appreciation to all of you for your patience, your compassion, your concern, and for welcoming me to your country, and I especially want to thank my teachers/professors for their love.
]I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to study here. With the help of the Institute, I can return to Carmen Pampa and communicate more clearly with my students and coworkers at the university. First, I want to thank Olimpia, who is the best host mom in the world. She helped me so much, but above all to feel even more connected to Bolivia. I also want to thank my professors, Osvaldo and Karla, for having so much patience with me. I loved my classes with them. And thank you to everyone at the Institute for welcoming me and making me feel at home. I am really going to miss everyone. Thank you!