The last full day in vibrant Guaranda is at its end. We started the day at 7 AM, anxious to walk to La Estancia so that we could eat delicious breakfast once again. We had joyful mushroom, ham, and cheese omelet; it was scrumdidilyumptious with our coffee. After that, we hopped on the bus and headed to Las Gradas for the last time. We split up into our groups, determined to finish the Community Action Project with our blood, sweat, and tears. We quickly finished the fence for the medicinal garden; however, we ran out of chicken wire for the uvilla garden. It was devastating for us Glimpsers and the Las Gradas community. Although we couldn’t finish, they were incredibly grateful for all of the hard work we contributed and were happy to finish the fence where we left off. We had a very emotional farewell after that. The students showed their gratitude by singing us many traditional songs and dancing happily. The teachers provided us with gorgeous Ecuadorian beaded necklaces and chancla keychains. The kids began to rush after us and flooded us with love and admiration. It was adorable! Most of us were in tears, hugging the children, struggling to say goodbye.
After returning to the hostal, we decided to rest up and prepared ourselves for another magnificent lunch. We all enjoyed green potato soup accompanied by popcorn, a choice of fish, a shishkabob, some meat or beannnnsss!!!! Shortly after we returned to our humble hostal to put on our thinking caps and reflect on our great work we accomplished during the Community Action Project. We realized that with each of our unique perspectives, we were able to achieve more than what we originally planned. Being flexible was one of the main takeaways; the first draft of our project was different from our final result, but what we found that the process of editing our mistakes is what taught us the most valuable lessons.
We then headed to the local high school to teach our final lesson then BOOM we were hit with devastating news that we couldn’t teach, due to miscommunications and exams. We then had to explain to our loving students that we would not see them again; what tears it brought to my eyes. From the terrible heart-breaking goodbyes once again, we headed to the hostal for free time. We split into groups of 4 heading out into the city streets. After treating ourselves to some Booble Tea, and buying our last souvenirs, we finally had the opportunity to eat our favorite dinner again: Ana’s chicken lasagna. After eating 3 plates, we gave Ana and her employees flowers and a picture of us at Chimborazo. Ready to burn some calories, Ana encouraged us to loosen up and dance as if we had ants in our pants…So, we did! We ended the night with pure joy and laughter; it was the perfect way to end our last dinner at La Estancia.