Sunday, May 13, 2012

A reunion and a communion

 This weekend is my next to last weekend in Alicante : (  I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown by!  On Saturday I was able to finally meet my pen pal of more than 10 years, Kateryna!!! I know it sounds crazy, but the story starts when I was about 6 or 7 years old.  My church helped with the program “Operation Christmas Child” where we send off shoeboxes of gifts to various groups in other countries.  That year we were sending gifts to another church in Ukraine and my mom decided that my brother and I could decide who we wanted to send to.  I chose of course an ‘older girl’ because I had always wanted a big sister.  After receiving the gift, Kateryna graciously wrote back to me about how thankful she was and about how she was learning english.  Even though she was about 6 years older than I was, we continued writing back and forth through letters and sending small gifts and photos from our own countries.  As the years passed and we both became busier, we exchanged emails but slowly lost touch a little bit.  One day, around the time I was a junior or senior in high school, I received a “friend request” on Facebook from Kateryna!!! I was so excited and couldn’t believe that she had found me on Facebook.  We then were able to talk atleast a few times each year through facebook.  We had always talked about meeting one day, but I told her that I hoped I would be able to study abroad at some point while I was in college.  Now, here I am, finishing out my junior year and studying in Spain!  We talked all semester about meeting, but she is busy with a new job in Barcelona and I am busy traveling and with school here in Alicante.  This weekend she was able to come to Alicante, so we spent the whole day catching up and spending time at the beach together.  We had an amazing day and I am so thankful that we were finally able to meet!!

Kateryna and I near the beach in Alicante

Today, Sunday, I got to meet all of Paco’s extended family for the first communion of his nephew, Arturo. 
Sweet Arturo.  
I tried to get a photo with him but I think he was too shy/embarrassed haha.

We went to mass this morning and saw the children’s first communion then headed to the Melia Hotel to have lunch while overlooking the water.  I loved the views and loved being able to meet everyone, including Paco’s precious mother and his sister.  

And I thought I was short.... me and Paco's sweet mother!

We had a great time and I didn’t even notice that lunch lasted for more than 3 hours! 

Pepa, me, and Paco outside of the Melia Hotel 

I had a wonderful weekend and can’t believe it is my next to last weekend in Alicante!  I have truly come to love my family here, but I am also so excited to see my family and friends at home.  It is Mother’s Day in the U.S. and I am reminded every day how lucky I am to have such an amazing mother at home.  

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