Classes are done, Emily is gone, the despedida is over, grades are turned in, and goodbyes have been said. A beach trip, Patrick´s birthday, a few more goodbyes, lots of salsa dancing, and 12 more days until I am home!!!
Last Friday, we had a HUGE 4th of July party here, complete with watermelon seed spitting, bean bag toss, mini hotdogs, flag cake, 3-legged race, and face-pieing! I had tons of 4th of July-ish prizes, thanks to Jill, so the kids had a blast...even if they didn´t exactly understand what we were celebrating. One of the highlights of the party was USA trivia - which, I have to say, for being poor little street kids who don´t know the countries that border theirs, they did ok! My favorite answer was to the question "How many states are in the United States?" In true overly-excited CMT kid fashion, one girl confidently yelled out "TWO!!!"
The next day, both centers combined to throw us an even HUGER going away party. It started at 8am with breakfast, followed by a volunteers vs. Ecua-staff soccer game (they barely won 10-8, with the highlight being when one of our volunteers took out a little girl innocently watching from the sidelines), then mass, lunch, and the big program. The program involved lots of songs and dances, a skit, and a poem. It was really nice, and just Ecuadorianly funny enough that I didn´t have a chance to cry. Flannery and I somehow got roped into doing a traditional Ecua dance with our adult students. Despite long, disorganized rehearsals that resulted in a not-so-spectacular dance, we got to wear beautiful outfits and it was good time (look at the pictures on Facebook, if you can).
These last few days have been filled with more parties, dinners out, field trips, and gift-giving. Yesterday, one of my favorites since day 1, Celia (she´s 4), started asking me all kinds of questions...When are you leaving? Where are you going? Why are you leaving? Are all the gringitas (direct translation: little white females) leaving? When are you coming back? Can I come with you? Will your dad be there?
God, I´m going to miss these kids.
See you soon,