Volunteers

Leaving San Francisco

Yesterday morning we drove away from San Francisco remembering to enjoy the scenery because it would be our last journey through that area for a long time. On my last day in town I woke up early and walked my favorite path, taking in everything around me and being satisfied with how familiar the curves in the road, the people, and the views felt. The only difference now is that across all the views of the jungle stretch electricity wires that they have installed since arriving in June.
During our last day we made special cards for all our youth health promoters. The cards included photos I had printed and a CD with several videos from throughout the past six months. The card reminded them that they had worked very hard and improved their community greatly.
James and I made one last meal using the broccoli from our garden and then it was time for our goodbye celebration. We invited all the youth and their families to come eat cake with us and watch the videos from this year. We showed the scavenger hunt videos that the girls made in our first month, the primary school’s promotion that had just happened on Wednesday, and a video slideshow from the whole six months. Then, we presented the cards to the youth and congratulated them for becoming such strong leaders in their community. Finally we ended with cake and juice!
Since we also sold our last cocina, I felt like the whole day was very representative of our time in San Francisco. I filled it with my favorite things and spent time with my two families. Keeping true to our educational environment video, the night before we left, James and I burned all the paper waste we had accumulated. It ended up being pretty ceremonial since it was all the puzzles and games we had prepared for various classes and meetings.
Now, James is on his way back to the United States and I am on my way to Ecuador! I get to spend a couple weeks traveling before going to Lima to spend Christmas with my family. It feels good to have this huge life-changing experience culminate and run off into my “real life.” It’s kind of like waking up from a dream with all these new lessons and ideas on how to improve the way I live. I’m excited to be staying down here in South America to solidify my Spanish and also to keep working on MEJORC’s relations with our future partner organization. I accidentally left my camera chord in Lima so I will have to promise pictures for the next blog post! Thanks to everyone who has supported this project and made possible the incredible outcome and our continuing work in rural Peru.

Monica

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