This morning there was a sense of nastalgia for the beginning of the trip as we all sat down for our last breakfast together. It Was pretty surreal that three weeks could go by so fast. We tried not to think about the fact that the trip was coming to an end and ate breakfast at 815 and were on the bus to Javier’s house by 9. We rode on a windy road and gazed at the beautiful view of Quito nezzled between the mountains. When we arrived at Javier’s house, he gave us a tour of his beautiful, sustainably built home. We admired his house in awe and learned about sustainable architecture. Then we gathered round and listened intently to his insightful lecture. This included new information about problems with industrial agriculture system as well as facts about permaculture and permaculture design. We we’re also able to check out some neighboring houses across the way from Javier’s and engaged in a conversation about architecture. Javier’s lecture was incredibly informative and his desire to make a difference and change our world for the better was evident and inspiring. We then said a long dreaded goodbye to Alex as she headed to a fensing tournament a day early. It was a difficult parting and lots of hugs and kisses were given as well as tears were shed. Her presence was really missed and the group dynamic definitely didn’t feel the same without her. Even though we all knew that we would stay in touch, it was still difficult to see her go. We then headed back to our casa in Tumbaco. We finished our sustainability action plans and ate our final dinner together which consisted of guinea pig (an Ecuadorian delicacy) and a soy alternative for the vegetarians. We then submitted our sustainability action plans and engaged in a final group discussion/closing circle that was both emotional and heartfelt. We reflected and reminisced on the trip as whole as well as expressed our final thoughts. This trip has been an incredible experience in terms of the knowledge I’ve acquired and the friendships I’ve made. I won’t forget it and I can’t wait to keep in touch with everyone and see what great things they continue to do with their lives.
Olivia and sustainable summer group