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Goodbyes and hellos

Admin note: this post was written on Monday, but due to limited connectivity the instructors weren’t able to send it off until today. Apologies for the delay!

Hey friends and family,

We’re writing to you from the van on our way to CEN (Centro de Entendimiento con la Naturaleza), the next stop on our journey.  On Sunday we bid a sad farewell to our host families in El Lagartillo. It was definitely hard to say goodbye, but we’re excited for what’s to come.  The day before our departure we spent the morning with our host families.  In the afternoon, we split into our Spanish classes and helped our teachers cook food for the community to enjoy during our despedida (goodbye party). Some of the food included slow cooked pork, pizza, and passion fruit juice. The despedida also happened to fall on Joel’s birthday so we celebrated with singing and cake.  Happy 18th Joel!

During the farewell party we listened to some beautiful Nicaraguan folk music, played on the guitar by two members of the community. Later on, some of our teachers and host families said a few parting words.  This was followed by a dance circle where Alan proceeded to stun us with his moves.  We’re so grateful for our time in El Lagartillo and we wouldn’t have wanted to end it any other way.

The next morning, we packed into a van and drove to Matagalpa City.  We dropped our stuff off at a hostel and had the afternoon to explore the city and use the internet. We had dinner at a wonderful Italian restaurant (thanks Lily for scouting). We then returned to our hostel and took long and warm showers before going to bed.

This morning we had another bittersweet moment.  Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to the lovely Camilla.  We will miss her kindness and calming presence and we wish her well on all of her future endeavors. On the other hand, it was great to say a hello for a change.  We welcome Fernanda to our group and are so excited to spend this week with her.

We’re so lucky that we’re all happy and health on this trip to CEN.  Thinking of you all at home.

Lots of love,

Charlotte and Lilianne