The sunset is of course a great metaphor for leaving my study abroad. I have one week left here, which shall consist of final exams, rushing every last minute experience, cramming my bags with my Christmas presents and belongings, and taking pictures of what has been most important to me here. I like thinking of this end as a sunset for a few reasons. It's gorgeous. There is much clarity and everything looks rosy. I know the sun is coming back tomorrow. We never really say goodbye. What I've learned will stay with me, and I will be able to keep in touch with the friends I've made. Some of the other students here are sad already about saying goodbye this week. But life goes on.
Things on my list to do this week include studying, visiting the Calanques, wandering through as many markets as I can, walking up to the top of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde to see the best view of Marseille, and taking boat loads of pictures for the folks at home.
I'm not really sure what my program specifically wanted me to learn here. But I am sure I have made lots of progress. So many things here in Marseille have become less bizarre and much more normal. The 'world' markets that look and smell just like the ones I saw in Fez, the sea of colorful people, the veiled women, the graffiti everywhere, relentless jaywalking pedestrians, and the mistral winds howling through the city blocks... I've adapted to all this. It's so amazing to really understand another place outside of my own culture. I'm so glad I've found this skill and I have a craving to use it again.