Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The First Time I Left Home

Kathryn A. Kopple

Sao Paulo Brasil

So, there I was, sitting in class listening to a fellow student talk about her year abroad.  Paris, to be precise.  She'd spent a year in Paris as an exchange student.  A lovely year in every way, as she described the experience.  She lived with a French family, and it had been great.  She went to school, and it had been great.  She learned French, and her French was great. By the time she finished her presentation, it was decided:  I too would go to Paris.  

Except I never got to Paris.  There was a glut of exchange students applying to France.  My sponsors told me not to worry.  They would find a host country for me.  And they did:  Brasil.

Back then, before the Internet, you didn't hear much about Brasil where I grew up.  Honestly, I had no idea where I was going.  But, I was going, and it was then that I learned the true meaning of "no turning back."

Kathryn A. Kopple works in Spanish and English. She translates for TED in their outsourcing program. She has published original poetry and prose in numerous publications, including The Threepenny Review, The Bellevue Review and The Shell Game (anthology, U of Nebraska Press). She is the author of Little Velásquez (Mirth Press), a novel set in 15th century Spain.

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