My first day of sophomore English, my teacher came 10 minutes late to class. Confused, we all waited. We were nervous and excited to start the year. After what seemed like forever, he came in, slamming the door quickly behind him. “Why are you here?” he exclaimed in front of a shaking sophomore crowd. We spent the entire class period talking about why we were there, not only as students but also as members of society. That story came to my mind so many times today, because we spent the entirety of today pondering the questions, “Did we make the most out of our trip to Nicaragua and why did we come here?”.

After eating a lovely breakfast of ¬†gallo pinto, a tortilla, and eggs, we made our way to an auditorium where we reflected on our trip and if we made the most of our experience. We started our three-hour seminar with a journey map. The map encompassed five of the most impactful moments of our trip, along with what we learned about ourselves, what we learned about being a leader, and a person that impacted us during the trip. After that, we spent some time sharing our maps and moved on to the next activity, “Start, Stop, Continue”. We all wrote down what we would stop doing, what we would start doing, and what we would continue doing after returning home from our reflective journey in Nicaragua. That activity showed us how much of an impact this trip made on us and how much we have really changed because of the things we have seen and experienced. Then, we did various activities that showed our appreciation for one another. Those activities made us realize that we grew so close over this eighteen days and the impact we have made on one another.

After that, we had a great last lunch and then enjoyed some free time. Personally, I enjoyed a supermarket run and one last time at Mr. Coffee, a beloved local coffee shop. After coming back to the hostel, we had time to pack, clean, and hang out with one another until dinner. After dinner, we had a celebration for the lovely women at the hostel and our Program Coordinator, Silvan’s birthday.

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The celebration was really fun, but we had to make our way to our last English tutoring session. We wrappd up the time with our student with a talent show! We all came together to showcase the best talents from our classes and said goodbye to the students we have become so close to. It was a bit hectic to be the leader of the day during this entire process because everyone wanted to stay with their students who have turned into friends.

When we got back to the hostel, we had our last nightly meeting and returned to the questions of the day-“Did we make the most out of our trip to Nicaragua and why did we come here”. For the majority of the group, it was a resounding yes. It’s hard to realize how much impact we have made on the people we have met and the impact those same people have made on us during this trip. The things we have seen, both difficult and pleasant, have impacted us so much more than we could have imagined. Despite the challenges this trip has brought, so much ¬†good has come out of it. Words cannot express how happy I am that I could go on this trip and see what Nicaragua and its vibrant culture has to offer.

Big love to my family and anyone who has read this blog. Love you all so much and see you tomorrow!