Day 156: A Time to Fly / by Sarah Kakusho

To be honest, I’ve been thinking about this entry since the day I got here: how to make my study abroad experience a narrative that’s both comprehensible and memorable. So, out of all the entries, this one is probably the most edited, revised, re-edited, and thought out entry.

So, my last day has come. I was walking around outside today one final time around my barrio. I’m actually going to miss being here and there’s no doubt in my mind, I’ll be dreaming of Buenos Aires in my sleep and then waking up only to realize that I’m back in my Soka dorm room. It used to be vice-versa.

Study abroad has been quite an experience. It’s inexplicable in words.

Really.

It knows your weaknesses and it won’t hesitate to hit you where it hurts the most. You feel like you’re out there fighting out in the world, so far apart from home and SUA, and yet the battle is almost too close to home… Because you’re battling yourself, testing who you are.

You are your worst enemy.

Before arriving to Buenos Aires, I thought I had everything figured out: what I wanted to do, how I want to live my life, how I was, how I am, how I wanted to be. But, being in Argentina for 5 months has certainly opened my eyes. In the midst of academics, a new culture, a new city, a new life, I became a different person, whom I couldn’t recognize. And, in this process of not knowing whose skin I was in, I’ve lost all that I thought I was and all that I had: my comfort zone, my beliefs, my values, my identity…

And within this process of becoming this new person and rediscovering myself, I was able to find my faith, find my values, find myself. I was able to renew who I was, to make everything that was loosely a part of me something that is now the strong foundation of who I am today.

For me, study abroad has helped me learn to have faith, to be positive, to not complain, to fight for justice, to open up to people, to struggle through academics, to live by myself, to live independently, to ask for help when I need it… there’s an infinite amount of things to list here. But definitely, the most important thing I was able to experience being abroad is to BE VICTORIOUS no matter the outcome. I’m known to easily be swayed by situations in my environment, but Buenos Aires has taught me that so long as I know that I won, nothing else matters.

Looking out my window as it hit 7:30 pm here, there’s definitely a difference between when I first arrived to Buenos Aires and today. It was damp and foggy, and the first view of the city I saw was all a blur in the misty street side of Buenos Aires. The sun refused to show itself for the first week and the wind was cold and ceaseless. The sun is up now and it’s definitely made things clearer, all the more warmer and a much livelier place to be. It just might be a regular summer day for the portenos here, but it’s certainly a nice end to my study abroad here, a very physical and figurative transformation.

“Winter never fails to turn to spring”

Argentina, you have done me well. Doushiyoumonai jibun wo sukoshi demo seichou shita tto omou. No es “chau” sino es “nos vemos,” Argentina. There’s no doubt that I’ll return one day to revisit you. Thanks for everyone for all your support. And to the Readers Anonymous, it’s been a pleasure for all of you to follow me on my 156-day adventure in Argentina, whether you just came across a single entry or read and re-read every single entry. Thanks for reading, whoever you may be.

Junior year study abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Fall 08.
Mission accomplished.

Guys, I’m comin’ home.

“This life is just a blink of an eye / A glimpse into the world / We were never meant to see / So don’t hang on to anything at all / And all the things we have / And all the people we have known / Will fade away so quickly into the deep / And memories of love will be the only warmth we have in the end” – “Debussy” by Daphne Loves Derby