Later, London!

I can’t imagine a more perfect end to my stay in London.

On my last night in Teddington, I cooked a big TexMex feast for 15 of my new friends from England, Ireland, Kenya, and the US that made my visit a total blast. In the past 6 weeks, I’ve run with them, cooked with them, roomed with them, laughed with them, and learned more from them than I can begin to describe.

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Vivian, Winny, Veronica and Moses were eager to help and learn, and took their chopping jobs very seriously. While I expected my European and American friends to do some damage on the fajitas (and they did), I give mad props to all the Africans who dug right in, despite the meal being radically different from the ugali, rice, potatoes, and stew they’re used to. Watching them eat fajitas in a bowl, ugali-style (scooping up the contents with tortillas) was awesome.

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We ended the night with a little photo shoot, an exchange of contact information, and lots of hugs. At least 8 of them have promised to visit Texas when I’m home next year, so Kim, Suz, and Dallas buds- get ready for the biggest (and most diverse) sleepover the Wade house has ever seen!

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Naturally, the leftovers were used for breakfast tacos the next morning. After hopping in the Bushy Park Run, 5 of us brewed some coffee, whipped up eggs and potatoes, and went to town on everything that remained. (As a side note, I have now beat 2 Olympians and a sub-4:00 miler in a 5K. The fact that we jogged the whole thing and I sprinted ahead of them in the final 10 meters is irrelevant, right?)

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So long, London. You’ve been so, so good to me and I’m sad to go. But now it’s time to take a spin around the UK and Ireland, beginning with a week in Oxford. I’m living in a house of runners that is legitimately 20 meters from the Iffley Road Track, where Roger Bannister clocked the first sub-4:00 mile. Not a bad place to start the next phase of my journey!

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