I could start with a cliché like "all good things must come to an end." Or something banal like "veni vidi vici." However, it's not true that all good things must end (truthfully, as far as we know all things end, not just good things but maybe I'm equivocating on 'end'). And its not necessary for this to end. We could choose to stay here and never return. And as far as I know, we came, we saw, but conqueror is an overstatement. Simply, we came, we saw, and we grew.
Italy was the experience of a lifetime. A facebook message from my grandfather (yes, he's on facebook) told me to enjoy my time here. He spent time here while serving in the US Navy, and he said one never knows when he/she might see this side of the world again. He was sure that he wouldn't have another opportunity. This made me realize my fortunate nature, and the blessings my family and education have bestowed upon me. Traveling abroad has become commonplace in many institutions, and it's widely encouraged. However, many friends and peers of mine do not have the means to pursue such options. And those that do don't necessarily recognize the value within an experience as such. In all, I must thank Dr. Mills and Dr. Johnson for encouraging us in this adventure and giving us the opportunity to grow personally and intellectually.
So it is that we depart in about 18 hours. Perhaps we leave with some positive anticipation to return to our normal lives, jobs, and loved ones. But there are small frowns within each of us. We've bonded to form new friendships, created memories, and grown to love a culture other than our own. But it's not that we come home completely. In some unconscious state we will always be here (no it's not that I'm pushing a conception of time like the Tralfamadorians from 'Slaughterhouse-Five'). Some might be here through photographs, others through stories, and some through language. We can't leave something like this behind. Soon we are headed out for dinner together. Our own "Last Supper." Corny, I know, but I had to say it.
Its been amazing, but now it closes. We'll be home soon.