The Final Day
It was a bittersweet morning. Literally, the coffee was bitter and the Maria cookies were sweet. It was our last breakfast as a group at the dorms. I ate quickly, rushing to be done so I could have more time to work on my presentation. I wish I would have soaked in the moment more, savored my food and slowed down long enough to enjoy one of the last group conversations we would have that day.
After lunch we all dressed up in our nicest attire and it was finally time for the big presentation. I rushed over to the Leon center for the very last time and found my seat amongst the array of chairs. To my surprise there were many guests, including Magda and Manuela, who was skyping in. Even a student from the language center which I had personally invited had come to watch us present. When the presentations started all was silent and the last day of our study abroad seemed to finally begin.
Although we had started our formal presentations, I did not feel any sense of sadness until two of our group members had left and gone to do their own travels. First Octavio left to catch his train for Madrid and later Tarra left as well. There were many hugs and goodbyes as we realized it could be a long time before we would reunite. However, it was not until after dinner that we would all go our separate ways.
Once the hard part of the day had reached its close we dined at a fine restaurant called Zuolaga. The appetizers, main course and dessert were exquisite. To start with we had freshly-baked bread (or at least freshly heated) and a traditional Léon drink. It consisted of tomato sauce, watermelon squares and pieces of cured beef all combined in a tiny cup. Then we chose either a fish patty or leek soup. In the words of Santos, either fish pudding or leak pudding. After hearing Santos’ description I was unsure what to expect. How could both vegetables and fish have the texture of pudding? Fortunately the leek soup was delicious as well as the main course of sweet tender pork and prunes which followed. For dessert we were each given a slice of cake which we all believed to be cheesecake. However, after tasting we realized it had the texture of flan with the taste of cheese so we are not sure what it actually was. Our final dinner turned into a celebration of Juliana’s birthday, she turned twenty years that midnight.