“It’s a dangerous business…going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”  – J.R.R. Tolkien

“What’s the first thing you are going to do when you step off the plane in Madrid?” asked a friend. We were at a local hangout, for one of the last times before I was heading off.  “Get on the train to Salamancaaaa!!!” cut in another friend. “Heh, yeah. And kiss the ground. And get a soccer jersey,” I replied. I’ve been trying to get my size 6 1/2 feet on that dusty Spanish earth for the past 14 months: I do want to kiss the ground when I arrive. I want to cry, releasing the pent up stress and desire. I want to sleep and talk and eat where I belong. I’ve been looking at the open door, with my walking stick and pack, ready to go. But when I step off that plane, where will I be swept off to? Salamanca. A campus ministry called En Vivo. A house with a blue door. A team that has been preparing for the students to arrive. Cobbled streets and buildings that are older than my country. But I don’t think those are the kind of things Tolkien was referring to. I think he meant our journeys. The people we meet. The friends we make. Our choices. Ultimately, it’s those things that have swept me away to Salamanca in the first place. So, for right now: Right foot forward. Then left.


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