Hey everyone! Although I’m a few days late, it’s Daisy here with the honor of making E2A’s last trip-related blog entry. We are all home safe after two long weeks in Estelí, but I still hope that the curiosity in everyone hasn’t disappeared!
Here is a quick run down of our journey back home:
We woke up to a burning sun on our final day, were gifted a breakfast of piping hot pancakes (gallo pinto included!), anonymously gave big love to all of our group members, had our last hour of free time, and ate our last meal at Buffet Estelí — all before we boarded the bus at noon. The ride to Managua left us all feeling groggy and gross, but the coolness of the airport’s AC brought us back to life. At that point, we would be back home in less than twelve hours, but time crawled by slowly as we flew from Nicaragua to El Salvador, El Salvador to San Francisco. Our last moments together at SFO were filled with exhausted smiles and tight hugs, but I know that when we waved goodbye to each other, it didn’t really mean farewell.
With all the lessons learned and personal revelations discovered, I am sure that as we continue on with our lives, the experiences we shared together will influence the actions we each take going forward. In these two weeks, I’ve come to know twenty-one amazing individuals; after everything we’ve been through, I can say with confidence that each and every one of you will go on to do great things. I’ll stop my sappiness here (kind of), but just know that there are no limits to what we can do!
To make sure we don’t forget, I wrote a poem, one I started in Estelí but finished in San Francisco. It goes like this:
Counting down the days to go,
we pull up to the birds’ nest aglow,
gleaming like a dream.
Hours passed in centuries too slow,
until we reached the place we’ve come to know.
This is the start of a team.
Touring the city left us in a sheen of gloss,
the weather changing by coin toss.
The sky became gray but Estelí still shined.
We learned what freedom and peace truly cost,
so that the people could be their own boss.
Every crooked sidewalk tile is a piece of the past, one of a kind.
A hazardous hike left us looking a mess,
but the view and the guest were the absolute best.
Sometimes the return is harder than the journey.
Putting our impressions into color gave us all a rest,
but melodic movement drained us, I must confess.
Happiness is the best form of sweat.
Shadowing escuelas gave us all a show
of how education is something we must not let go.
(We are not so different after all.)
The smiles of youth in my heart I will stow;
Nothing can stop the rivers that flow.
(Our connection I will always recall.)
The place where Estelí’s trash lay in rows
was a sight that left our hearts sunken and low,
but poverty does not constitute pity.
In our lives there are things to which we can say no,
materialistic matters that we can forgo,
because money does not determine capacity.
In a daze, we made our way through the mosaic maze.
Money and energy — neither is gone to waste;
we thought of you every step of the way.
Smooth sailing was rarely ever the case,
but gradually we learned to teach with grace.
Over struggle satisfaction will always outweigh.
Hard work is all we needed to bring that day
to milk the goat and clear the field but keep complaints at bay.
Community overrules riches when the heart does labor.
We sipped coffee on trays at a business who gave employees a say
and provided security for when their hair becomes gray.
Equity is something the world should learn to favor.
We entered Isiqui and found that it was anything but hollow;
their full hearts showed us new values to follow.
Simple living does not mean you are any less joyful.
Bucket showers were our only source of sorrow;
the full weight of water is hard to bear but even so,
we will return to our lives of privilege more powerful.
We weaved through green mountains and found our way
to Somoto Canyon under the smallest of sun rays.
The pull of strong currents pulled us closer together.
Drenched to the core by the river’s spray,
our stop at a roadside buffet was a worthwhile delay.
I won’t forget the tired effulgence we radiated — not ever.
diez, once, doce
La Montañita’s campus brought our emotions into sway,
and filled us with a desire to help the children learn and play.
Every swing of the hammer made the clock tick faster.
We endured through criticism and rain with the hope that they may
stay dedicated to education and not be led astray.
Our hopes became promises as our goodbyes grew heavier.
Although the sobbing sky left us a little in dismay,
our footsteps and strides to a good day gave way
as the eye soaked in last glances of gold.
Ice cream and trinkets lay in beautiful array;
the colors and sounds cannot ever be down played.
Our friendships are cemented by stories unable to be retold.
The end drew near but there were edges still frayed,
so we wrote down all the words we didn’t have the guts to say.
Home sounds so sweet but leaving tastes bitter.
I know it may seem like I’m being cliche,
but it’s true: those we’ve taught and learned from make it hard to fly away.
The memories I have of us are stuck in my heart like glitter.
I wake up and today is the day;
in the blink of an eye we’ll be in a world away,
but my love for Estelí will remain — I have no doubt whatsoever.
Sent off in heated sun, is warmth what Nicaragua wants to convey?
I wish to keep this feeling locked away,
so our endeavor will stay with me forever.
(This is not the end of a team.)
Love to E2A,
P.S. — I’m working on the pictures!