Before Farewell (or as Deena will say: before ‘until we meet again!’)

*intended to post on 31 July 23:00 (but I fall asleep instead!)
Please pretend you have time machine ; )

Like some of us, I’ve been joining camps with people my age many times before.
Perhaps unlike many of us, before today, I never fully understand the feeling of people who cries and cries at closing ceremonies.
With so many people joining (50+ to even 100+), and so little time together (10- to even 3 days), I rarely feel so attach to anyone that I feel devastated when we have to part.

Even for other international camps that the chance we will meet again is slight, I never felt that the chance of never seeing

each other again was so intolerable that I need to cry my frustration out.

I only had acceptance to offer. And occasional postcard-swappings for close acquaintance when New Year comes.
Never tears.
Until now.

Making friends does not come easily to me. I need a lot of time to remember everybody’s names. I need even more time to open up, get myself to "be" with other people, and to learn about everyone – not just names. (although it helps immensely with name-remembering)

Here in YSEALI, with right time and nice place and great, great people, I feel comfortable getting to know you guys at my slow, slow pace.

Get to know that you like LPs, get to know that you are an expert of animals, that you shop like crazy when it says ‘sale’, that you are a ‘vampire coffee’, that you are rockstars, that photography is not your hobby man – it’s your *profession*, that you use French textbooks to study science, that you speak 6 languages, that you are all impossibly, superhumanly *AWESOME*

Get to know you,
and get to be your friend.

YSEALI is super special to me, because it is where I get to be friends, really friends, with everyone.
You’re not just names to remember. Not someone I might forget.

You are my friends.

I don’t know how to tell you how important that is to me.

You guys have lots of common interests as me (environment! environment!), but also have various ideas and perspectives that differs from mine.
Like this, we can share and talk about what we have in common, learn things we didn’t know much about before, and – most eye-opening to me – be inspired.

YSEALI-ees /pronunced YSEALIIIIII like The Boss/ come from various fields of study, plus you guys are the super cream of

cream of the crop! The questions you ask, the stories you tell, and how attentive you guys are in classrooms make me think "I want to be like that!"

Photography, playing guitars, learning 6 languages – all these lost dreams that I’ve abandoned for the longest time – coming alive before my eyes, showing me how brilliant they are if I’d let them grow.
When I see my dreams in your reality, it makes me think "I want to be like that!"
Propels me forward from the status quo I let myself fell into.

My heart swells up with pride every time I realize I’m your friend,
that my friends are amazing, amazing, amazing!

Then it squeezes and vanishes, to think that this will end soon.

Sometimes, I feel like we have all the time in the world; that what we have will be everlasting
That tomorrow we will still be together – indulging (or eating enough just to survive) breakfast buffet together, trying to stay awake in after-meal lectures together, exploring the cities of the United States together, or just simply chatting and enjoying one another’s presence.
That the day after; and the day after; and the day after; will be like that, too.

Faster than the wheels that took us to Southgate Mall, reality drives in and tell me that there won’t be the days after.
There are only Tomorrow, and a single Day After, left for us.
Singular.

In my chest, it feels like there’s a void space in place of where my heart should be.

Let’s stop with all the blues for now, since we still have a few days to explore and have fun and set the world on fire!

(fire of environmentally-friendly passion though haha)

Let’s make tomorrow be another best day that everyone of us will be, and see, and do, everything together!

Until we meet again!
*imitating The Boss* YSEALIIIIIIII!!!

Alena K.

p.s. at first I wasn’t going to tell you that I wrote this blog post, then I was ‘nah, better tell ’em in case nobody guesses’
Who would you guess as the writer of this post, if you don’t know it was me?
Do guess! I’m curious! ; )

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