The last few days

by Sarah Luna

For the first time, I was sad to leave Ithaca because I was saying goodbye to people I love. Neither of my partners will be returning this spring. They have each graduated and are moving on to bigger and better things. Having not one but two young men around who love me and respect me and look out for me has been the greatest blessing of this semester. They are brilliant, compassionate, and wildly entertaining. I will miss them dearly.

The past few days have been full of celebrations. Friday was a particularly eventful night. I started out at a local bar to celebrate with one of my nutrition friends who had just passed her A exam. There were about ten of us there from our cohort, and it was fun to visit with them. Now that we don’t share classes, weeks go by without me seeing them. I then went to a fondue party hosted by a friend of mine who runs the kitchen lab. Best idea for a dinner party ever. We all sat around a table and dipped a variety of meats and fruits and vegetables into a this wonderful cheese and garlic and wine fondue. I got to hold a six-week old baby at this party, too! I left that party around 10:30 to meet up with my ballroomies in Collegetown. Going out with them always evolves into dancing, which is always fine with me. I danced weird hybrids of salsa, cha cha, rumba, and bolero with my boys. We ended up at one of the girls’ houses, and then I said my goodbyes and walked home.

I had expected to sleep in Saturday morning, but at the end of the partying on Friday, my partner asked me if I would come watch him graduate with his Masters of Engineering. I was touched that he wanted me there and dutifully set my alarm. I grudgingly woke up the following morning to see snow falling in huge flakes outside of my window. Our first real snow. I made it to his graduation and sat by myself taking pictures. It reminded me forcibly of watching Drew graduate and the accompanying feelings of loss and pride.

Then I got my yellow fever shot. (I’m so not normal). I had AJ take the battery out of my car to prevent it from freezing. Yes, my battery froze solid last year. It’s cold where I live, people. I cleaned my room and swept the hair off the floor. I visited with a friend of mine until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

My partner picked me up for lunch on Sunday. He gave me three choices for restaurants. I said I didn’t mind where we went. I’ve only been to a few restaurants in Ithaca, and he’s been here for five years. But he was like NOOOOOOO, I’m taking you to lunch; you have to pick. Me: IDK!!! Him: Do you want a burger? Ithaca Alehouse has good burgers. Me: Wait, a good burger in Ithaca? YES! I want to go there! Him: wow, that was not just a polite yes, that was a real yes!

We got these incredible crispy spiced fries served with a curry sauce (yes, really). I got a Kobe burger with brie and caramelized apples. It was soooooooo good. And we just had a really good lunch sitting and talking. I really hope that wasn’t my last time seeing him.

Roomie took me to the airport. Just like in the summer, our goodbyes were "See you after Africa!". For her, it’s Tanzania; for me, it’s Rwanda.

I bought my flight to Rwanda this morning. It’s real now.