My last 10 days in Guatemala were bitter-sweet. I completed my required courses at Juan Sisay. I was happy to be done with the studying, but at the same time I knew that I would miss the many friends I had made at the school and in my host family. The hardest part of my farewell was saying goodbye to Abuelita (little grandmother) and my host family. I gave her a gift to say goodbye and she burst into tears and gave me a long hug. It was a wonderful feeling to have grown so close to a family from a totally new country. My graduation ceremony was similar. My teacher gave a wonderful speech about all of the fun things we had experienced in 9 weeks and how she was going to miss me (all in Spanish of course). We then celebrated with the whole school and danced the night away again.
The last few days I spent travelling, in a very roundabout way, to the airport. I spent a few days on the beach in Livingston and traveled up and down Rio Dulce. The days on the beach were relaxing! I got to go fishing with a local man and he also took me and my friends on a tour of the local town which included a hike to some pools, a canoe trip up a little river and a boat ride to Playa Blanca (White Beach).
It was a lovely way to end my time in Guatemala and I met some other fascinating travelers while there. Finally, it was time to leave and I headed to the airport. Twelve hours later, I found myself landing in Minneapolis, MN. Walking out into the cool Minneapolis air felt surreal. I could hardly believe that I was finally back after a life-changing adventure in Guatemala! I experienced so many things while I was gone and met so many people! I will always treasure my memories of Guatemala and want to return someday!