Meg and Jasmine reporting on our last night in Matagalpa. We’ll give you all the details in a moment, but the short version is: lots of laughter, lots of crying, lots of sap, and lots of Vivas!

We started the day with our final seminar: Reflection. Given our roller coaster of a trip, we took this day to look back on it, working through the amazing experience these two weeks has been from our first Uno game in Miami to crying at the end of our last English lesson. It’s incredible to think about how we all have changed so much in so little time and what true friends we have become. Every one of us has such unique and admirable qualities and this trip has given each individual the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and show those characteristics.

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During our reflection we made three simple lists: things we want to start doing, things we want to s  top doing, and things we’ll continue to do after this trip is over. A sample: we want to start becoming more aware of the problems in our own communities. We want to stop hesitating due to fear. We want to continue being active members of society; the people who we were nominated for being. We all have different perspectives but it’s so humbling to watch our group come together with  similar aspirations and goals.

(Sorry. We’re a little emotional right now.)

For our last lunch in Matagalpa, we went to Happy, a California themed restaurant. Very fitting for our last day! Afterwards Denis and Chelsea treated us to Besame, the local ice cream shop we’ve all been obsessed with since we went there together on one of our very first days here. Speaking of which, the very first song we listened to on the bus was Happy. So we’ve come full circle.

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After that, we were released for our final free time on the streets of Matagalpa. We packed our suitcases, did a little frantic last minute souvenir shopping (including snacks to share with you all at home!) and took in the sights and sounds of the city for the very last time.

Chelsea and DJ Denis surprised us with a pinata to celebrate all we’ve accomplished these past three weeks. Shoutout to M2A for always being a dance party. For dinner, we had our last Gallo Pinto, adding to the bittersweet mood of the day.

Last English tutoring! 🙁 That’s probably the point where everyone really started crying. We’ve all made such unexpected bonds with our students, and the kindness we received from them was overwhelming. (Author Note – neither of us spoke any Spanish prior to this trip, and if there’s anything we picked up on, it was because of our students).

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At this point it really hit a lot of us that this is our last night in the country. We love our families and we can’t wait to see all of you, but we’ve made a second family here.

We’ll never forget all the people we met here, and can only hope they’ll never forget us. Even if they don’t remember our names, we get to live with the knowledge that we touched their lives in small but powerful ways, and they’ve touched our lives as well. It’s one of the greatest honors of this trip.

One last time:

Viva Matagalpa!

Love to everyone,

Meg and Jasmine

(PS: Again – Arriving in SFO around 11:00! Please don’t forget to pick up your child.)