Ahh, the bittersweet day has arrived: departure day. As Leader Del Dia, I woke up at 3:30 AM to begin our long journey back home. Room by room, one by one, I woke up my fellow glimpsers. Many were reluctant to get up, but they got on their feet when I threatened to jump on their beds. We had 30 minutes to make sure we had everything packed and ready. Once we were done, we lugged our suitcases down to the hotel lobby then onto the bus.
During the bus ride to Augusto C. Sandino International Airport, everyone was sitting in the dark, silent. At first, I thought people were reflecting on the trip, but it turns out everyone was just sleeping. Once we got to the airport, we got in line to check in our luggage and claim our tickets. We then made our way to security and that’s when we had to say our goodbyes to our beloved in-country leaders, Brayan and Jessica. Each of us embraced our leaders and thanked them for everything they have done for us during this trip. They were everything we could ask for in an in-country leader and as a friend, so parting ways was the most difficult thing to do that day.
After our tearful goodbyes, we ate our fruit salads as we waited to board our plane to El Salvador. The plane ride to El Salvador was short and smooth and we had a short bus ride to the gate terminal once we got off. We began our 7 hour layover with breakfast at a restaurant and we loitered for a couple of hours after our meals. The expression on the workers’ faces looked like they wanted us to leave, so we took the hint and waited for another couple of hours at the airport seats. Some took pictures, some took naps, and some went to venture around in the airport. The layover wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be as we enjoyed each others company.
The clock finally struck 2:00 and it was time to board our 6 hour flight back to San Francisco. The seats had built-in tvs to keep us entertained, but during the last hour, everyone was impatient to go home. We finally landed and everyone bursted out clapping. As we walked out of the terminal, everyone sang our favorite song: Sunday Candy. During customs, 3 people got held back because they wanted proof that they were US citizens. The rest of us waited in baggage claim and played “Heads Up.” We finally got through customs and were ready to greet our families that we haven’t seen for 3 weeks. We were welcomed back with loud greetings and hugs. As we were welcomed back by our families, we had to say goodbye to each other. We all took our final pictures and had our final hugs as glimpsers. We all promised to keep in touch and we all headed back home.
Our days together in Nicaragua may be over, but our passion to make the world a better place will forever stay alive within us and so will the experiences and memories we made together. Thank you to everyone who read the blogs on a daily basis, but as the writer and the readers, it’s time to part ways. Until next time…