We started our day at 7:20. There was definitely a bittersweet to the air as this is our last day in Ecuador. At 8:00 we headed to Roma Santa where we were greeted with chicken and carrots, bread, and granola with yogurt. Unexpectedly, Nelson had a surprise. He had prepared a tear-jerking goodbye video which we will link here.

Soon after, we headed to what would be our final visit to Love On. We immediately got to work as we only had few hours to finish up two rooms and completely do another. Through hard work and determination, we managed to finish all of the room and clean up in time. We got the opportunity to see the students which really made our efforts worth it. The students got to place their hands, which were covered in paint, on one of the drawings of a tree forever cementing their mark at Love On. We graciously thanked Love On for the opportunity to work with them and create an inviting environment for everyone there. After three days of hard work and labor, we could finally see our final product. With goodbyes and farewells, we sent Love On off with school supplies for the students as a finale to our CAP (community action project) project.

We sped to Lunch, were we chowed down on shrimp, rice, quinoa soup, and salad. Happy, we headed back to the hotel for an in-depth final CAP reflection and finished our thank you notes to the donors. As a special thank you for our labor, we were treated to a delicious Mexican meal at Lina restaurant. Full stomachs and happy smiles, we headed back to the hotel and said our final goodbyes to Don Alonzo, our dedicated bus driver. We ended the night with our final nightly meeting.

Today as a community, we learned how to work together and compromise our views. As a group, we created a garden, painted three rooms with hand-drawn illustrations in each, painted a good portion of the rest of the walls at Love On, and raised school supplies to help facilitate a better learning environment. It was definitely hard being Leader of the Day for us but we pulled through. Emotions and tensions were high to finish on time but together we created something beautiful that will last for years to come.

In conclusion, this trip has gone by so fast with so many new memories and friends made. We will surely remember this trip for the rest of our lives.

With Love, Olivia K. and Justin 😀

P.S. Happy Birthday to Michael’s sister, Annabelle! Happy 20th 🙂