Hey everyone! My name is Myla Rae Duane and I was the leader of the day today. I am 16 years old and I am an upcoming senior at Oakland School for the Arts. Today was my delegation’s last day here in Leon, Nicaragua. I have never been so many miles away from home for this long but I can safely say that my group made it worth all the while. Even though it is time to go back home to my family, I know that I have made a wonderful second family during these past three weeks.

Today was our first and only day that we got to sleep in (if you consider 8:15am late)! Compared to waking up somewhere between 6:45am and 7:15am for the previous days, 8:15am was late for us.  Because I was leader of the day I had to wake up a little bit before everyone else so I could get ready to wake up my fellow glimpsers.

Once everyone was awake we headed over to Quiero Mas for our last breakfast consisting of corn tortillas, eggs, and the infamous gallo pinto. When breakfast was over we walked back to our hostel and had a three hour long seminar meeting. In this meeting we discussed what we have learned during our time here in Nicaragua, and which lessons we want to bring back to The States. We also participated in some goodbye activities, which got pretty emotional. It was cool to see how much of a bond we have made with each other, but also to hear about the relationships that people now want to continue to build between The States and Nicaragua as well as other countries. Personally, I have never seen myself traveling around the world but after this trip I would love to come back and visit, or continue to do other projects similar to the ones we have done here in Leon.

After realizing that today really is our last day here and allowing everything that was said in the seminar to sink in, the group headed over to Quiero Mas for our last lunch there. When lunch was over, we once again headed back to the hostel and did a luggage check to make sure that everyone was prepared to leave at 3:00am tomorrow! People were then released to go out in groups of four to explore the city of Leon one last time. Leon itself is an unforgettable place with all of its murals, culture, crazy streets, and beautiful buildings.

Free time ended and we all gathered to go to dinner at (guess where) Quiero Mas! We said a huge thank you and goodbye as we left the restaurant for the very last time. Later, we had our final nightly meeting to reflect on the entire day. Everyone was pretty talkative and anxious to get the meeting over with because our last activity was going to the disco club, where we also got to hang out with the other Leon delegation that is here in Nicaragua.

Overall, today demonstrated how close we have all become. As leader of the day I learned how to put organizational skills to the test as well as attending to multiple people and their needs while still maintaining a positive attitude. If there was one thing about this group that I appreciated the most, it would be how well everyone got along and how patient people were able to be with each other. Leaving home and family to go away for three weeks with nineteen people you have never really met before can be pretty scary, but in the end it was totally worth it. I will never forget my time here in Nicaragua as well as all of the amazing people that I have met.

See you all tomorrow!