by Jenna Howell
Today, we have had an amazing day and have seen so much! Sadly, we left the beautiful Ring of Fire and headed to see some Mayan ruins. It was very interesting to see the remains of the second Mayan capitol.
Even the bus rides are great, seeing the country side and all the towns we have passed through. One thing I have really enjoyed is how much geography we have covered over the course of our adventure.
We ended today where we started, with some final shopping in Antigua and dinner at the first restaurant at which we ate.
Dale and Carolina from AGTEC and the Colorado (Philanthropiece) group met us for dinner. It was great to see everyone once again and say goodbye.
As we are winding down here in Guatemala, we seem sad. Here is this amazing country that has opened our eyes to things we never thought existed, and we are just turning around and heading home. I feel like we are leaving all these people behind.
They have taught me so much, and I hope I made a difference with them like they made with me. Going through all my pictures I find myself smiling and tearing up all at once. To me, these pictures come to life. The colors here are vibrant and alive! This is real, these people, this amazing country; it exists and has stolen a part of my heart!
Antigua, The Lake, Chichi … they were gorgeous and amazing to see but these towns (to me) are NOT the real Guatemala.
We have seen the TRUE Guatemala!
I speak for myself, but I think all of my Guatemala family would agree when I say that this experience has been an emotional roller coaster. We have all missed home but also have seen and been exposed to things we never thought existed.
We have been touched personally by families and children. We have celebrated, gone through hard times, and encouraged each other through this whole journey. We have rejoiced and cried together. We have all become more than a study abroad group … we have become a family. I am so thankful for all the friendships I am taking home from this experience.
This has been an experience of a lifetime. I would choose this adventure again over any other study abroad. I cannot wait to go back and try to bring our stories and pictures to life. I want our stories to be known, and I cannot wait to recruit to future students. This has changed my life, opened my eyes, and humbled me.
Counting my Blessings.
Guatemala … forever special in our hearts!