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Day 8: Beyond the Sea

June 27, 2012

Somewhere, beyond the sea, await our lives back in North Carolina.  Here on our last day in Ecuador, we traveled to Los Frailes National Park for some reflective time on the preserved, pristine beach.  A few years ago Ecuador became more diligent about preserving its natural resources through the national park system and ensuring that the flora, fauna, and geography are intact for future generations.

Upon arrival at the park we were greeted with breathtaking views of sand, beach and crashing waves, bordered by mountain rock cliffs.  Seeing this remarkable spot truly made our group appreciate once more all of the natural beauty and biodiversity of Ecuador.  Each person took about 30 minutes to quietly reflect on their experience over the past week and find one object from the seaside to bring back to the group.  As each person came back to our starting point,  they added their object to the seaside collage and reflected on how this symbolized all of our many experiences and adventures. In a group circle, we shared our final thoughts and feelings about Ecuador and our experiences.

After our time on the beach we headed back to Puerto Lopez for lunch at the Hostel Mandala, before departing for Guayaquil.  We then boarded our bus for one last ride to our departure city, stopping for a final shopping trip at ProPueblo.  This unique store supports local women and their handicrafts trade by selling natural fiber baskets, paper goods, ceramics, and tagua nut jewelry or artwork.  We said our final goodbyes to Roberto, our fearless bus driver, and Miguel, our intrepid interpreter.  It was another bittersweet moment as we realized that our time here was coming to a quick close.

Despite our sadness over parting ways with Roberto and Miguel, we had a luxurious evening at our hotel in Guayaquil, enjoying a final dinner in a private room (meaning we pretty much took over the whole restaurant).  We left our hotel at 5 a.m. for the airport, saying final goodbyes to Marcelo and Monica, our tour guides, knowing that this was now the final chapter of our Ecuadorian adventure.

We arrived at Raleigh-Durham Airport one week ago as a group of strangers, embarking on a unique adventure; however we are leaving Ecuador as a group of friends and colleagues who will always treasure our time in this amazing natural wonder, creating a sisterhood which will only continue to grow and blossom.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Denise M. permalink
    July 6, 2014 9:10 pm

    What an awesome opportunity and journey you all had! Thank you for sharing. I know your students will benefit from your time together on this trip! So thankful you had this opportunity, Tara! Mrs. M

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