Friday, October 27, 2006

Sahha Malta, Merhba America...

I am back in the , got back on Tuesday evening and am still trying to get back into my life here. I really got a jump start on some things I want to change about my life here while I was over in Malta. Every night since I have been back I have woken up thinking I am still there and then realize I am not, so sad.
Anyway, I wasn't to update you on the my last night in Malta. I had dinner with the family I didn't even know I had. I met 3 of my second cousins and their parents, who I guess are my Mom's cousin and her husband. Noel (one of my cousins - I will drop the "second" part, because it is too much) and his Dad, I will call him my Uncle, Frank came to get me and a hotel around the corner from my apartment. They pulled up and must have just known it was me, Frank jumped out of the car (the most exuberant 78 year old ever) and said, "Are you Katie?" when I said yes, he clapped his hands and jumped up once and said "Ha! I knew it!". He got in the back seat and I got in the front, Noel kissed each of my cheeks and was so happy the entire drive to meet me. We got to Frank and Mary's house in Naxxar and Mary and my other cousin Marlene met us at the door and greeted me with kisses and hugs. They have a pretty small family without very many visitors from the relatives in Australia and us from the U.S.A. They told me that they never thought anyone from America would ever come to visit because my Grandfather died so long ago and they though the culture must have been lost, etc. I told them different. I told them I have always known I was part Maltese but wanted to go there to learn about it, and hoped to find family. I shared photos of all of you and my family with them and then Frank said he had a surprise for me. I went with him to his office and he had his photo album open to a page and it had my Mom and Aunt Margie's graduation photos in it along with wedding photos of my Mom and Margie and notes about the family mentioning me and my brother. I told them about Emily and made sure they had all the names correct, etc. in order to keep everything updated. Frank showed me photos of my entire family from WAY back in the day in Malta. It was incredible to see photos of my Grandpa and photos of his sisters, etc. He said he had another surprise, it was in the stairway where there were some photos, it was a photo of my Great Grandmother Emilia. The funny thing is, I had a photo copy of the photo that I traveled with and used that to find family and there was the original hanging on the wall. Of course, they had to take my photo next to it, so funny! I had a wonderful time. My cousins there and I decided that we would keep in contact and I would come and visit again next year. We both have small families so we think it is important that we stay in touch, etc. Since we were out of communication for so long.
I want all of you to know that none of this would d have been possible without me meeting Joe Calleja on the internet. He was the one person that answered my mass email about finding family in Malta and he said he would help me and he did! God bless Joe and Carmen and their family.
Anyway, the flight home was awesome, smooth and mellow. Malta to London was quick (3 hours) and I had about 4 hours to wait in London. I recommend anyone traveling to Europe to travel via London, the airport was incredible. It is like the best mall in the world, Chanel, Gucci, Armani, Paul Smith, etc. I was in heaven. I spent some money there that I had left from my vacation. I got a bagel there for lunch and walked around shopping with a sesame seed between my two front teeth too, classy huh? I didn't notice the seed until I was on the plane. London to San Francisco I had the row to myself, awesome! I had my bag on the seat next to me and watched movies, worked on my journal and drank tons of water since I didn't have anyone to ask to move in order for me to use the toilet. It was incredible!
Tim came to pick me up and there were tears! He would kill me if he knew I wrote that, but it was very, very sweet. He missed me. I came home to fresh sheets, clean towels and a tidy apartment, my favorite way to come home.
Wednesday, I had the day off. I went an appointment I had at 8:00 AM and had the rest of the day open. I went to get a cappuccino at Peet's and drop some pastries and coffee off at Tim's office for the department he works in. I slowly brought the steaming cup up towards my nose and knew I was in for a disappointment, and I was. I tasted the bitter coffee that was so good when I was in Malta and literally almost started crying right there in Peet's Coffee. I thought maybe it was because I was not sitting facing the sea, but that wasn't it. It wasn't good at all. I drank it any way, I needed the buzz, but it was a sad buzz. I visited Tim and work and delivered the treats and went to Target. In the afternoon I went to the beach and slept for a couple hours and read. Vacation is over is such a sad thought. I am trying to grip on to the things I learned about myself on my trip and carry them through my life here and pray that I can return to Malta next year and see my family and all of the places that made me feel like I was at home there on that limestone rock in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.
My dreams take me back there at night and that will have to hold me until my next journey.

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