Sunday, July 24, 2016

Home Sweet Home

The dreaded day was finally upon us. The day where we said bye to our home for the past three weeks was here and I was not thrilled about it. On the one hand I was going to see my family and my kitties again but on the other, I would leave the friends I made behind and the environment that is nurturing in more than one way.  Despite the mixed feelings, I had no choice but to pack and be ready to leave at 10 AM to the airport.

I woke up at 7 AM to say bye to Betty who was returning to China. We hugged and made plans to visit each other in the future. At 7:15 AM, all teary eyed, we said goodbye for the last time and I watched her walk onto the airport shuttle and disappear into the streets of Philly. After sitting in bed for a while thinking about my roommate, I decided to get ready so I could finalize my packing.

Once I showered and got ready, Therese came to my room and we chatted about how we would miss the school and each other. She helped me close my luggage by sitting on it and giving me encouraging words as I forced the zipper closed. Isn’t it funny how luggage can grow so much in three small weeks? Anyways, we went to say goodbye to some of the kids from the math academy and walked around the quad until we decided we wanted the comfort of the AC. When we got to my room I pulled out my polaroid camera and we decided to have a photo shoot. We took all kinds of pictures from silly to artsy. And like the saying goes, time flies when you're having fun. 10 AM had crept up behind our backs and without warning it jumped up and surprised us both.
Some of our artsy pictures 
With sad faces, we made our way down with my luggage. I turned in my keys and waited for the shuttle to come. I spotted John all too soon and with Therese still helping me with my luggage, made my way to the shuttle. We hugged and said our goodbyes. It was very sad having to leave friends that you may not see in person ever again but I tried to stay positive because after all, I was on the way to seeing my family. Once in the shuttle, we made our way to the airport and got checked in. We were way too early so we went for a nice sit down dinner where I had a crab cake sandwich that was delicious. After our meal we waited to be called to line up for the flight.

At around 4 PM we got called up and we made our way to the plane not knowing what was ahead of us. The plane was boarded and everyone was seated when a thunderstorm hit the airport delaying us. From that point on, the storm was the only thing that happened quickly. We waited until we were clear from the storm to depart but just when we were the 5th in line to take off, the pilot said we had burned too much fuel so we had to go back and refuel! This once again delayed us. The pilot said we would be on our way in about 30 minutes. So not that bad… WRONG! After the 30 minutes went by, the pilot said that there were 35 planes trying to leave so we would have to once again wait. This time without a time estimate. All in all we spent almost 4 hours just sitting on the plane starving and unable to move.

After forever we took off and we could finally get something to eat. By this time I was starving so I devoured the not so good pastrami sandwich I got. From this point on it was smooth sailing. I took a nap to prevent myself from becoming sick and in no time we were landing in SFO. We rounded up our luggage and met the shuttle driver who took us to EC safely. There I met my mom and dad who were very happy to see me. The UPenn cohort took one last group picture and we parted ways. I got home and slept like a rock for a very long time.

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