Finally all of my things and I are in the house of my friends Catarino and Sandra, who generously offered to house whatever I wasn't going to take back (including the car) until I return. I foolishly didn't calculate enough time for this... although I am here, it's just a bit after midnight, and I can get some sleep before we leave at 7 for the trip to the airport. Partly this was due to resistance on my part -- I really didn't want to deal with leaving and so I didn't. I just kept putting it off until the last moment. And in part, it didn't quite sink in until yesterday that I was moving as well as packing to travel. I've gotten so accustomed to traveling frequently that packing has turned into a routine, and I forgot about the moving part -- or forgot how much energy that takes.
Fortunately I had the help of several friends -- and truly, if it were not for them, I would be on the verge of missing my plane, having a nervous breakdown, or both. Four friends devoted a lot of time to helping me, along with some auxiliary family members of Catarino and Sandra, who pitched in to carry some furniture and boxes once we were in the driveway of their home. "Driveway" should be taken with a grain of caution. We are not talking about a level or paved path. This is a rocky, narrow, uneven, dirt path that slopes down from the road, past the homes of Catarino's brother and father. Moving heavy pieces of furniture in the dark was not easy or fun, but Catarino and Sandra just smiled and lugged and hauled and schlepped until everything was in (we made at least 4 trips by car).
I am so honored and humbled by my friends' generosity; I don't know that I am quite as capable as they are of devoting this much time and effort to other people. By the end of the evening I was barely capable of conversation, and we ended up not really having much of a dinner together. We stopped for dinner before everything was done -- that meant driving from my house in town to their house on the outskirts, working our way into the driveway, eating quickly, and then going back. But I needed to eat, I needed a break, and I was very sorry because I know the time and effort that went into making the meal and we did not do it justice.
I am thoroughly exhausted right now; the last two nights I went out dancing at the fiesta, and am paying the price. Part of the price was not really having enough time to pack. And the other part is being very, very tired.
This is a kind of "eh" blog entry, but writing something more interesting would take more energy than I have right now.