Friday morning was the closing ceremony at Canas Blancas. It was our typical morning….coffee, breakfast, Bruce lost his bag, etc., but it was our last morning in Jinotepe. We made our last trip to the community, and there were a lot of people there waiting for us. We ran down the road past the school to spend a little time with the producers (farmers), and donate some tools and plants to them. It was really nice to be able to hand over the tools and the plants to the people that are going to be using them. They are extremely gracious, and I’m sure they find us humorous as we wander around their property following around the baby ducks, petting the calf, and gawking at the pig.
After the small ceremony with the producers, we headed down to the school. They were ready to go at the school. The kids were already playing; I think they were skipping classes that morning, and they ran the line to hang the piñata from. It was a celebration for the communities and the school. The closing started out with the communities’ leaders saying a few words, and then we say a few words, and then we sang our song for them, “Sois la Semilla (You Are The Seed)”. We’ve been practicing this song for the last few days. We sang it in Spanish, and I like to think we did the song and the Spanish language justice.
Then it was time to hug. It’s hard saying goodbye to the people you’ve shared the last several days with. You grow accustom to seeing them every day, especially the children, and the folks you’ve worked next to. The kids were so sweet, and sad we were leaving….until the piñata came out. Once the piñata went up, the focus shifted. The little girl that won an earlier game of musical chairs got to take the first swings. About the third swing she connected and the piñata went down. I don’t know that I can adequately describe the scrum of children that followed. I was afraid we were going to have to reopen the clinic to treat scarps, bruises, and broken arms. The second piñata was much the same, but it survived a little longer.
It was time for us to depart. We loaded up and headed an hour away to the Hotel Lupita. It was perched on the top of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It was beautiful up there. I think the team enjoyed the opportunity to relax a little, nurse some tired backs, and reflect on the week. Kevin almost got stung by a scorpion too…we all did a thorough bed check Friday night.
Saturday we spent the morning at the Hotel Lupita. After lunch we loaded up and headed to see a few Nicaraguan sites. We stopped to see an inactive volcano that became a lake…very beautiful view. We also stopped to see an active volcano. It was a surreal experience. I’ve never seen anything like it. I could try and describe it, but it is like trying to describe what it is like to see the Grand Canyon. Words don’t do it justice. We headed back to the Nehemiah Center for our last sit down dinner with the team.
After dinner we did our closing group meetings. The last meeting is a time to reflect the week, and think about the future. These trips change you. You never forget the people or the experience. Each one is different. You make new friends with the people you are serving and your travel companions. The challenge is to never forget the experience, and to make choices that are good for the people of the world. This is a beautiful country, full of beautiful people. I hope they’ve gotten as much from this week, as we have. Goodbye Nicaragua, you are in our hearts and prayers, and we’ll see you again soon.