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The time has come to move again. We were in Harrisonburg, Virginia longer than I thought we would be, and it's been good. But the end always comes and somehow we say goodbye.
Reflecting on my last three years here, I realize that I take much more with me than what we'll pack into our little car. Besides the rich learning experiences, time for reflection, affirmations of my thoughts and ideas, and valuable resources that we will take with us into wherever we go, I will also take deeply meaningful relationships that have mysteriously blossomed over our time here.
Until even recently, I was telling myself that the reason I didn't have many friends here is the reality of student life, cultural differences, the knowledge that we won't be here for long. I figured the nature of US culture, which seems to tend towards isolating people rather than building community, was probably involved too.
Recently, though, I made a list of all the people we should be sure to connect with before we leave. There were over fifty. I couldn't believe it. Even more surprising was that while I looked at the list, tears came to my eyes as I remembered moments spent together and the ways that these relationships have held us through this time of study and adjustment to North American life.
This has been a meaningful time. While we may never live in Harrisonburg the way that we've lived here the last three years, I know that we'll be back - for races to run, courses to participate in, camping in the Appalachian mountains, and visiting all the people here that we have come to love.