And so our trip came to an end.

Sunday morning started with an early wake-up call to make sure everyone was packed and ready for the day. After breakfast, we had time to reflect on the experiences of our trip and the memories we planned to hold on our way home. Students were given an opportunity to share what things they planned to Stop, Start, and Continue based on ideas learned during the program. Many shared they planned to return with a new appreciation for what they have, a desire to learn how to listen and respect the feelings of others, and a desire for activism within their communities.

We had a heartfelt goodbye with our Dominican counterparts (the Ambassadors), our host (Israel), and other GG staff (Maria and Javier) before we entered the Santiago airport about to begin our long journey home. Our first leg from Santiago, DR to Newark, New Jersey was an easy afternoon flight. As we left customs, we said goodbye to our East Coast students: Cierra, Talayah, and Andres. Friends and families waited at baggage claim and we took one last group photo with the entire B1C. With our first true departures, we continued our travels from Newark to SFO – where balloons, dogs, siblings, friends, and parents joyfully awaited our return.

B1C wants to thank everyone who helped make our trip possible: our parents and friends, GG staff and donors, and, of course, our partner school teachers.Β  We came in with expectations, dreams, and fears. Our willingness to be open, honest, and compassionate to each other and the communities we met made the trip a rich, awakening experience for the whole group.

Julia and I want to wish everyone a wonderful year! It was a delight to know each and every one of you.