Thursday, September 8, 2011
Leaving Philadelphia (8/6)
My mom and I left Philadelphia around 10 and arrived at DC around 2. We ate lunch ate a very somber lunch at Bertuccis and finished up before 3 and checked in at the desk at the Crowne Plaza hotel where our orientation was being held. The ladies at registration told us that I couldn't register till I said goodbye to my mother. We stepped back from the desk and bid each other a teary goodbye. With puffy eyes I checked in, got my room key, moved my luggage to my room. I hung out for a half hour or so in my room and waited for the redness around my eyes to go away. I was full of regret, sadness, uncertainty. I wasn't sure I had ever wanted to go on this exchange. I left my room and started talking to other AFS students and felt better and better. We had a light night as other students arrived from different parts of the country and I got to make some friends.