(Posted late due to a late night and intermittent WiFi!)
This morning we slept in until 8am and had a leisurely breakfast in our hotel restaurant. We then applied several layers of sunscreen and bug spray to ourselves for our trip to Playa Uverito, a lovely beach about 25 minutes from Las Tablas Centro. Once we arrived at the beach hotel, we were initially disappointed with the weather- it was overcast and almost gloomy and many people were hoping for a tan on our one day off. We then realized that our beaches back home in Northern California also yielded similar weather but are very cold so we quickly turned our dismay into elation and were thankful that it was a nice 80 degrees and the Atlantic Ocean was warm. We spent the entire day playing soccer, trying to set up a volleyball net, floating in the ocean, and laughing in the pool. It was so wonderful to have a whole day devoted entirely to fostering our friendships with people on the trip that we will truly miss when we leave on Monday.
After an afternoon siesta and a few ice cream sundaes, we headed back home to Hotel Piamonte. We substituted our nightly meeting with a concert in the Belisario Porras Park where we enjoyed traditional Panamanian music by Victor Ballesteros. We stayed for three glorious songs and then headed back to our meeting room for a reflection exercise and our final (albeit abbreviated) nightly meeting in the hotel. We shared our personal global Glimpse stories starting from when we first heard about the program through when we had our most memorable experience on the trip and more. We thought we knew a lot about each other already but we learned even more about the people we have grown to love.
After our meeting and briefing on our next two travel days, we headed upstairs to our rooms to pack our bags. We found that we all had a lot of extra snacks which we would be thankful for on our bus ride back to Panama City tomorrow and lots of extra school supplies which we compiled into large bags and Nathan and Arleen will donate to the schools in the area. We made sure to thank every member of the hotel staff for their kindness, generosity, and patience with us over the last two weeks.
We can’t wait to see all of you, our dear family and friends, but we are sad to leave our home away from home. Tomorrow we travel by bus back to Panama City where we will get to see the canal and the museum. We hope you are all doing well! We can’t wait to see you at the airport soon!
Sending lots of love!