Out of Africa

by Evans Yonson

(Note: This entry is part of the blog series that I wrote five years ago as a tribute/countdown to my leaving the unversity residence hall where I stayed as part of my scholarship.)

madrid – this is it! exactly 12 months. exactly 52 weeks. exactly 365 days. exactly 8.760 hours. ahh, forget the minutes!!! it’s overacting already.

exactly 52 saturdays ago, i walked in to the colegio mayor universitario de nuestra senora de africa. natalia welcomed me. and natalia will see me go.

exactly three room transfers after. the tranquil -206. the peeping 604. and the swimming 307. four seasons after.

more than 100 dormmates later. more than 45 countries after. austria. colombia. paraguay. peru. bolivia. argentina. china. thailand. nepal. romania. russia. cuba. portugal. greece. israel. nicaragua. equatorial guinea. senegal. mozambique. ethiopia. dominican republic. azerbaijan. czech republic. venezuela. brazil. kazakhstan. turkmenistan. spain. italy. albania. hungary. france. usa. canada. croatia. india. syria. lebanon. egypt. algeria. tunisia. morocco. panama. puerto rico. philippines. iran. lebanon. cyprus. bosnia herzegovina. poland. can you beat that? gloria diaz and margie moran spent less than 2 months for their crowns. mine, i spent 1 year to win it.

That's me on the second row right. To the left is Maura (Paraguay) and directly below her is Amanda (Mexico).

more than 125 days with the cleaning and laundry ladies. maria eugenia is the best. marissa. belen lightened my day. luisa and carmen washed my dirty linens in public. more than 300 breakfasts and lunches. pepa for my breakfasts and baon. more than 225 dinners. more than 5.000 hours of free internet. juani for welcoming my friends. felipe for his antics. jose/rebecca/mayte for my coffee, coke and cigarettes. alvaro for watching me during my sleeping hours.

A year in the life...

here’s one song (seasons of love, from the musical, ‘rent’) that best summarizes my year in africa:

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.

525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes – how can you measure the life of a woman or man?

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

It’s time now to sing out, tho the story never ends
let’s celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Measure in love.
Seasons of love!
Seasons of love.

goodbye, africa!

The Africa where I lived for a year in Madrid.

my 525,600 minutes were all worth it!

thanks to all my friends from all over the world. i love you all.