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Berit Ramstad Skoyles: Year spent studying abroad has come to end

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life Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

It hasn’t hit me yet. I’m not in Chile but actually sitting in my kitchen eating leftover Zorbaz pizza. Half of the time I don’t completely understand what people are saying, but when I do understand, it just sounds unnatural.

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When my plane from Chicago was landing at the Fargo airport, I couldn’t contain my excitement. The thought of seeing my family again had me rushing through the gates so fast that I almost ran over people trying to get out of the ramp from the plane.

After looking out of the gates for a few seconds and realizing that my family wasn’t there waiting for me, my excitement wasn’t so extreme anymore. At first I thought that they forgot about me. When I realized that my plane had landed 10 minutes early, I relaxed a little. I went to the baggage claim and waited for my bags while anxiously staring at the entrance to the airport.

When Siri and my friend Henry walked through the door I forgot all about my bags and ran to them. They looked at me funny, but when they realized it was me they ran just as fast to meet me. They were as surprised as I was to know that my family wasn’t there.

After another five minutes of waiting, my family finally entered the airport. I ran down those stairs as fast as I could without tripping and into my dad’s arms. Next came my mom and my best friends. A couple minutes later my brother and my grandpa arrived.

My brother doesn’t like to show how much he loves me, but I know how much he does. He won’t admit it now, but he ran up the stairs to hug me. He ran!

After I had hugged him and my grandpa, we were all set to leave the airport. We fetched my bags and headed out to eat. Of course we had to make a pit stop at my favorite store, Target, before the restaurant. My friend Kylee picked out a pink dress with cats on it just for me. It’s perfect.

At the restaurant, I had trouble reading the menu. I couldn’t decide what would be good or what wouldn’t be. I was so used to Chilean food that I couldn’t remember North American food.

I decided on a pizza with bacon and maple syrup accompanied by a root beer. It was a good choice. The bacon, maple syrup and root beer were just what I needed. Being without them for an entire year made them taste even better than they had before. (Or maybe I was just imagining that.)

When I finally arrived at my house, I was reunited with my kitty, and I realized that my house was a bit different than when I left it. I definitely was not expecting a new fridge or a new floor. After I was accustomed to the difference of my house, we all ate dinner and decided to go sailing.

The next few days were spent in Duluth camping, swimming and mountain biking. Well, my brother and my dad spent the weekend mountain biking. Siri, my Mom and I spent it shopping at the thrift store, swimming in the Lester River and in Lake Superior at Park Point, with only a little bit of biking.

Now it’s time to get back to the real world and back to Detroit Lakes. Back to school, back to work, back to everything. I know I’m not the same, but almost everything else seems to be — so far.

Berit Ramstad Skoyles is a junior at Detroit Lakes High School. She just returned from her year abroad in Chile.

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