Yupaychani means thank you in Kichwa.

Quote of the day: “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man, true nobility is being superior to your former self.” –Ernest Hemingway

Question of the day: What is true about yourself now, that wasn’t true at the beginning of this trip?

Final meal at Ana’s!

This is it, the final blog for Guaranda, Ecuador 7/27-8/11 trip!

(Personally, I think this trip flew by in the blink of an eye, I cannot believe it is over already.)

This morning we had an early wake up call of 6:45 to get going to our closing reflection ceremony at La Guilena. We had our final meal with Ana at La Estansia saying goodbye and trying to hold back the tears.

This trip has been life changing, and not at all what I expected. For the first activity in the ceremony, the Glimpsers drew out maps of their most significant Global Glimpse moments. These ranged from receiving the news that we were nominated, the essays and application process, the after school meetings, the first time we met each other at O’hare, Alex confiscating our phones, our laugh, our tears, the leadership lessons learned, and finally, today. This map helped give us insight as to how Global Glimpse has changed us all in its own way.

A beautiful final morning in Guaranda.

After this activity, we continued onto the final “Big Love.” This Big Love had a twist, instead of sitting in our nightly meeting and receiving love verbally, everyone was given a “big love” sheet with their name. Afterwards, we passed the sheets to the left and anonymously wrote the times that that person has had a special impact on our life. Once finished, the Glimpsers were not allowed to look at their own until we all looked together at the same time. Once again, laughs and tears were shared. We opened discussion to talk about the positivity that they have revived; it was interesting to find that there was a theme for everyone. For example, the majority of mine gave compliments on my energy and love for rock climbing. The final Big Love was a wonderful way to close this adventure. (It’s also very fun to guess who write what… shout out to Jake, can’t wait to go to Lifetime together!) Because of this activity, Glimpsers will now be able to physically hold the friendships built on this trip even when we are apart.

Closing ceremonies

After we finished our closing ceremony, we were fed a glorious final lunch from Maria and headed on the bus to get our luggage and ride 5.5 hours to Quito. On our bus ride, we watched Los Increibles 2 (bootlegged Incredibles 2 in Spanish) and 47 Meters down. The movies REALLY helped pass the time quickly. Movie day was followed by a dance party complete with strobe lights on the bus where Joshua had to tell us to sit down… multiple times…. but we were having fun! Great way to close the ride:)

Click here for a movie of us on the bus: IMG_1618.TRIM

Once at Quito, after dinner, we got our phones back! It was precious to see the smiles on my peers’ faces when they saw all the messages from their friends saying how missed they were. Our flight from Quito to Houston was delayed so we got time to chill out and savor the last night together. However, this did cut our time for our flight from Houston to Chicago to down to 45 minutes for customs/baggage reclaim/security/arriving at gate. Very close!

Our journey through the airports has been long and a little bit frustrating, but we made, even if we did have to sprint to Gate C36 in Houston. I am coming to you now on our way home from Houston looking back on this trip with a golden heart. When we first arrived in Quito and met PCs Alex, he said “we are going to change your life in 2 weeks.” I said no, I don’t believe you. I am happy to say that I am wrong.

Our final group picture!

Global Glimpse has given us an entire new outlook on life. This trip had so many lessons built into the curriculum and taught them in the best way possible. I know I can speak for my peers when I say I am blessed to be a Glimpser.

Signing off,