On our final day of classes we were all a little nervous for our test. The night before was pretty quiet, everyone was hard at work reviewing all the information we had learned over our time at the Language School (ICC). After our tests were over, we continued to have class; some groups played Spanish games to practice vocabulary while other classes had conversations in Spanish. At 1:00, we had a cookout. We grilled a wide array of food from onions and peppers to beef. All of the teachers, students, and their families were invited! It was great to have one last opportunity to thank our teachers for helping us through the struggles and processes of learning in Spanish and to say goodbye to the friends we made at school.
After being able to rest Wednesday night we were reenergized and ready to go. In the morning we had some time to do group reflections and look back at what we had experienced and felt so far on the trip. It was so nice outside that we held discussions on the roof of the quest center. Later in the day we went to a local orphanage. The kids were finishing lunch when we showed up so we sat down to talk to them. Some of us had brought along little gifts such as crayons, coloring books, and small toys to share. It wasn’t long until we were playing soccer and running around. Being an adult was no excuse to not play. Even when we tripped over the jump rope or confused our Spanish words, the kids were cheering us on. They showed us what it meant to be compassionate and accepting to all.
On Friday, We had a free morning. Half of the group headed to the town center to look around at the markets and to practice some Spanish. The other half of the group took some time to catch up on sleep, journaling, or writing their paper. We met for Lunch at an Italian restaurant where the food was fantastic. Afterward we all piled into the van, which has now been named the Green Machine, and headed back “home” for a night of relaxation and free time.
Saturday we had a blast at ‘El Rollo,’ a water park about one hour from our house. The group favorite was the not so lazy river- we would all sit on a ledge and wait for huge tidal waves to come sweep everyone away and push us through the river; it was gallons of fun, even if you wouldn’t get to come up for air for a minute. Other fun activities at the water park included body slides with dropout floors, making new friends, and sipping pina coladas. We finally made our way back to the quest center exhausted and sun-burnt, where most crashed for the rest of the night.
Last but not least we had Sunday as a day of relaxation. A few of us went downtown to see some more of the sites, and the rest enjoyed the day sleeping and doing homework. We had a group discussion in the evening to finish up our fantastic week.