“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons comes from the journey, not the destination” Don Williams Jr.
Sadly tonight is our last blog ever in Nicaragua, but that means tomorrow we will be home to get hugs and loves. Today was all about self-reflection on our experience of the trip, and what we have learned.
We started our morning at 7:30 (yup we slept in today!). We had pancakes, which is amazing as always, and no Gallo Pinto! After breakfast we began our self-reflection seminar with a check in question on the highlights of the trip, what we have learned, and what had moved us. After we did the check in, we closed our eyes, and thought about everything we did in Nicaragua, and how we felt about our overall trip here. When we opened our eyes, we all went off to make a journey map of our experience in Nicaragua, drawing pictures, and writing about our favorite experiences and who had inspired us. I was amazed at all the wonderful artworks of my Good Neighbors, and how they’ve expressed themselves. It was truly amazing.
After we did our maps Candi and Jorge expressed keeping the Good Neighbors (Global Glimpse) spirit alive even after the trip. We did an activity called Stop, Start, Continue and talked about what we will stop, what we will continue, and what we will start, after the trip. For example, I will stop being ignorant of situations around me, especially in politics, I will continue to have a positive outlook on life, and I will start becoming more aware of the people around me and how the actions I do will always make a difference to somebody else, no matter how small that change is.
After Stop, Start, Continue, I introduce the Big Love active. It was a little different than our usual Big Love activity we would do every night. This time, we all got a paper and wrote our names in the center. Then passed it on to the person to our right. For each paper, we would write about something we love about them or something we are thankful of, but we would only get 30 seconds for each paper. After a whole round of 20 people, we would read what everyone wrote on our papers. Although it was anonymous, it didn’t matter because when I read all of the comments on my paper, I truly felt the love from all my Good Neighbors, and I am sure that everyone feels the same way as I do.
Our last self-reflection activity was the Unity Clap with the word empower change. Following that was lunch, and then finally free time. However the free time today wasn’t what we all had expected. We still had to pick up our laundry that we dropped off a few days beforehand and that took a lonnnnnngggggg time because only two people at a time could look for their clothes. Even then, some people were still missing articles of clothing. Then we still had to buy supplies for La Escuela de Amistad. That also took up quite a lot of time. In the end we had around less than two hours of free time, which wasn’t what we had originally planned for. Many people still needed to buy souvenirs, snacks, and just have a relaxing time to chill out. My group (with Tranette, Quinnton, and Melanie) first went to the Supermercado de Matagalpa to buy snacks for the plane ride and for home. Quinnton and I especially, bought a lot of bags of Salsa Verde Zambos, as requested by our friends who had visited to Nicaragua before. Then we went to the Barista, a coffee shop we like to call Concrete Coffee (inside joke J) and bought Caramelo de Frape. After we visited the one and only souvenir store at Central and bought mugs for our Global Glipse Leaders, Robert and Sonia, and our Program Leaders, Jorge aka Juicy, and Candi (Candy). It was around 435 cordobas for 4 mugs and we had our amazing Spanish-speaking Good Neighbor, Preslii and Merlin, bargain for less. It’s really funny because they wouldn’t bargain with customers, unless they spoke Spanish. (Yay for Spanish-speaking people!) Our last stop was another tienda, or store and Tranette and Mel wanted to buy a wallet. The price tag was “$40” and we asked them if it was in cordobas or dollars. At first they said cordobas, but once we got to the cashier, they actually meant dollars. In the end they didn’t buy them because of the “mistake.”
Everyone finally got back to the hostel at 5pm and got ready to pack for our flight back home. At 6pm we went out to eat our last fancy dinner together at El Balcan (Balcony) Restaurant. We all looked so handsome and beautiful, like we always do. For dinner, there were choices of beef, pork, chicken, pasta, and veggies. All were delicious! We also presented our gifts to our leaders, which sadly one of them had actually broke. (Sorry, Robs, we’ll buy you a new one…..soon.) After that we stopped at the bakery for some tasty treats. Many of us still have lots of money left over and were eager to spend it all. Some of us though want to keep bills and coins for souvenirs, too.
Finally we got home at 7:30pm and had our last nightly meeting. It was very sentimental and lots of tears were shed, for there were many personal stories were shared. With great sorrow and heartbreak, it is time to say goodbye, but at the same time we’re getting ready to say hello to you guys. This is Shannon Do, signing out, for the last time in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, Central America aka North America, Planet Earth, the Milky Way Galaxy, and the Universe.