Hello Glimpser families, this is Gaby. Sorry for the late post. Our final day started off with a 6am wake up call. During this time, we took turns signing homemade thank you cards for our program coordinators, Ena and McCall. At 7, we headed to our final breakfast at La Favorita where we enjoyed huevos rancheros with tortillas. After eating this delicious breakfast, we went back to the hostel, but not before taking a group picture for Don Carlos. Unfortunately, we had to give an early farewell to Crystal, Emely and Destiny who had to leave at 8:30 to make their flights. However, we couldn’t let them leave without presenting Ena and Mac with the cards we made for them along with some gifts. Destiny and Elizabeth gave short speeches and expressed how thankful we were to have them as our coordinators. After what would be our last real group picture, lots of hugs and tears, we said goodbye to the trio.

Even though everyone was in a sad mood, we had one more seminar to power through. We reflected on the ways the last 3 weeks would impact us in the long-term. After our last reflection piece, we had free time for 3 hours. Everyone packed their belongings, brought them to the common room and left to buy any last souvenirs. Once everyone got back, we wrote a thank you letter to our wonderful cook, Don Carlos. At 1:00 we ran to lunch because it started raining so hard. We lined up as usual, but this time, we saw a big heart with the group photo we had taken that very morning which made everyone feel happy and sad at the same time. For our last meal in Granada, we were treated to chicken with mushroom sauce with rice, vegetables and potatoes, but also a rainstorm with lightning and thunder that caused the power to go out briefly. Don Carlos had another great treat for us: delicious buñuelos (which for those of us who are not familiar with it, it’s like a donut soaked in honey). We presented Don Carlos with our thank you letter, a California shirt and a GG mug. However, he one upped us and surprised us with a raffle for which Lizbeth had the winning ticket.

We made our way back to the hostel and loaded up our luggage with the help of our bus driver Manuel and his friend. Once at the airport, we were excited to find that the Leon delegation was also on our flight back to the States. We checked in and shared our final group hug and goodbyes with Ena and McCall. As we waited to board, many glimpsers passed the time on their phones or getting snacks. Keeping with tradition, most of us sat together and conducted our final nightly meeting where we shared fallas and tuanis and read the previous night’s blog and comments. We boarded our flight to San Salvador where we sadly parted ways with Cristina who was on a different flight back to Chicago. On our final flight home to SFO, many of us slept while others enjoyed the view of the scary lightning storm. We landed safely at about midnight and were greeted by smiling faces of family and friends. It was a bittersweet moment for all us. We shared tears of joy and sadness as we hugged each other and took pictures one last time. Nevertheless, it was the best 18 days of our summer and I know I speak for everyone when I say we all miss our home away from home.