The day has finally come! My parents arrived to Prague early Monday morning and I had the pleasure of escorting them from the airport into the city of Prague. As the end of my time abroad seems fast approaching with Professors talking about the dates of final testings the arrival of my parents has been a new excitement even as my time here grows old. I find it absolutely hilarious when my parents continually ask me “now how do you say hello again?” Or when I repeat the name of a metro station for my dad fifteen times and he continues to muck it up. Each time they exclaim how beautiful some building is I continuously try to think back to what I first thought of these buildings when I first saw them. How long ago was it that suddenly all of these buildings seem normal to me? How much of a shock will it be to return to New York for Christmas?
While I look forward to returning to all of the comforts and normality of home I feel as though I’ve begun to have so much power here. My parents are the last of many guests that I have hosted in what I’ve begun to address as “my city”. While I know that there is still a lot I don’t know about the city I know the public transportation system, I understand the neighborhoods, and I’ve begun (just begun) to get a grasp on the language. So to me I know enough to feel like I am truly living here rather than just the guest I am in all of the countries I visit on the weekends. So many people talk about the independence that you gain being abroad and having my parents here only emphasizes what I consider my “abroad powers”. Here I am the authority on how to use the metro, what restaurants to go to or not to go to and how to say something as simple as thank you.
I think an amount of my confidence in myself has shaken in regards to recent events. It’s nerve wracking to hear that places I visited just a couple of weekends ago are suddenly so dangerous. Having my parents here is a comfort that I’m so grateful for. I’m also so grateful for how safe I feel in Prague even as I know that so many people cannot feel comfortable in their homes. My host family and my program have done such a good job of taking care of me while I’ve been here.