Sunday, July 19, 2015


I'd say that my Saturday started off at 12 AM on the dot.

I first started my packing routine by laying out everything needed to bring on one side of my bed and irrelevant items on the other. I neatly packed everything together and weighed my luggage on the basis of whether I was able to lift it up with one hand. An hour of depressing luggage packing went by until a knock on my door interrupted the cold silence. My friend Max was at the door, asking me if I wanted to hang out in the lounge with the other guys on our floor for a few rounds of "Cards Against Humanity". We all had an amazing time laughing at the cruel and heartless answers we all shared in response to the not-so-innocent questions. After nearly choking on a few Insomnia Cookies, getting locked out of my dorm for one final time, and deafening laughter, we all decided it was time to start packing up and say our final goodbyes since there would be no guarantee seeing each other the next morning. 

Oh Alma Mater!
6:50 AM hit the clock and I was down by my good friend, Alma Mater, one last time with my cohort. We waited for barely a few minutes before we received a message from Ms. Thrift saying that she and her daughter, Rosie, was at the meeting place awaiting our arrival. While we awaited our shuttle, a security guard by the name of Pericles came up to us. We chatted with him about our experience for a bit and he told us a bit about himself. Pericles gave us insight into his life, having been raised in an impoverished society and coming to New York to find success. Our shuttle arrived a tad bit late, around 7:05 AM, but before we left Pericles said a prayer for our safety and rain in California. As we all loaded ourselves onto the shuttle, I shook Pericles hand and told him that I'd keep his story in mind when I run for president one day. We both shared a friendly laugh and parted  our separate ways.

Even before we boarded the plane, I already could tell by the thick clouds and heavy downpour that it was gonna be a bad flight. But the pilot's short and humorous introduction reassured me that everything would be fine. The pilot had a thick southern accent to his speech and the fact that he said,"We have some heavy downpour, but don't worry folks I'm from Tennessee...which means I fly really good" comforted me. I thought, "Well, if we do crash, we'll burn at the hands of a pilot with a great sense of humor!" 

Now came the confusing part of the departure. I fell sound asleep before our departure for a good thirty minutes only to wake up not in the sky-- but still on the tarmac. I looked around for a clue as to what the heck was going on but instead fell asleep again. Once I woke up from my second attempted nap, I was puzzled to feel the plane just starting to gain momentum for take off. Never have I been so confused in my life.

After a long six hour flight, we took our first steps out of the airport and back into the refreshing San Francisco breeze. It didn't take long to acclimate to the sudden drop in temperature, it felt welcoming to be back in the weather that raised us. On the shuttle ride back to where it all began, we all took the time to reflect on our favorite memories and our funniest ones. Majority agreed that our most memorable days were our early days in Washington D.C. We went from being awkward and scared of each other's shadow's to becoming the best of friends in a night's time span. 

Saying Goodbye
Once we saw the green Hawaiian shirt, the sandals, sunglasses, and brown farmer's hat, we knew for a fact that we were home. Don welcomed us back to the Bay Area with our parents soon pulling up in front of the school. Before I knew it, I was back in the loving embrace of my parents. A few minutes later, Don pulled out his camera and shot a few homecoming pictures before we all went our separate ways

I arrived home to the surprise of a few friends who were working on the homecoming float in my garage. The two of my closest childhood friends, Brandon and Allan, leaped up to their feet and jumped on me with Allan on my back and Brandon in front. Our joy can not be explained in words, but only in this awesome homecoming photo:
Friends since first grade y'all
There's no other way to end a day like this but with a family dinner. It really was rewarding to be back with my family. There were many things that I kept to myself throughout the whole three weeks, and letting them all out removed the huge cinder block that burdened my back. If there's another thing for sure, being with my biological family filled many of the missing gaps that opened during the trip, but except for one gap. A gap so intricate that only my "ILC Family" can properly fill. 
'15 Columbia Cohort, I'll catch y'all on the flip side!

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