Beginnings of April, 2013. “I want to study abroad”, I said. “I want to do it too,” he said to me. We were just finishing a weekly running training when I received this wonderful piece of news from my friend Pepi, who was planning to do an exchange semester too. I remember that in this moment the process of application was tedious and long, and also a little lonely. If I had friends from Political Science that were applying to do an exchange, it was an uncomfortable competition, because there were few vacancies and we know that the university that one get would be the same university that the other would lose. But in the case of Pepi the situation was different. Pepi is my friend but he is studying Bussiness Economics (I am studying Political Science), so we were not competing between each other.
Since this moment it was a long process of preparation, of talks, worries but also good expectations. There were too many things to plan: plane tickets, insurance, budgets, applications, travel plans. Pepi applied as his first option to the University of Richmond and I applied as a first option to The George Washington University, fortunately our home university gave us the opportunity to go to the universities that we wanted. He was one of few friends who I could talk all the time about the exchange, who understood me with each step, who lost a lot of hours helping me with the English exam, with applications and other things.
Pepi came here to visit GW this past weekend. Among my routinely activities, my assignments, midterms preparations I found time to organize tours around DC, neither the cold neither the work stopped us to have a terrific time in this amazing city.
Among other things, we shared mates the first night with Timo (my Argentinian colleague here in GW), a few delicious empanadas (typical argentinian food) that we found in Adams Morgan, the Argentinian Embassy visit, sharing with him one of my classes, walking to the White House, going out to dance in the city, having popular food of Washington, etc. The whole weekend and all what we did were enough activities to realize that all of our plans from a year ago (a trip we both envisioned and dream about for a long time) got real.
Although, it was not so much time, it was enough to think about what is happening these current days of my exchange. About all of the experiences that we have to take advantage. It made me turning back in the time, remember how we wished this trip and realize that this experience seems to be better that I could ever think. It made me realize that I have to continuously put my joy and willingness to enjoy every instant.
As a way of not losing our habit of running (and also to keep in shape, of course) we went running through the favorite DC destinations: the memorials and all the monuments. At the end, the summary was a great and enriching afternoon after going through all the historical monuments of the foundation of the country. Among pictures, a wonderful rain, walk, run, memorials we had a good time to catch up.
Tomorrow he has to go back to Richmond, I am still feeling that I could have shared more time with my friend, but I know that It is a good excuse to meet up again in the coming weeks here in Washington or in Richmond where he’s studying. But most importantly, in exactly a week and after the midterms, we will be enjoying together of our recently planed Spring Break in Miami.