No sleep till Pittsburgh. The bus took off at 2:30 am this morning and many of us stayed up straight through the previous night mitigating checked bag costs and playing cards. There’s no real way to make the last day in country anything more than a bittersweet occasion. At this point our group had grown closer than I think any of us could have foreseen and nobody is very eager to leave Nicaragua and all the memories that were made there. As always, I think the hardest part is leaving behind the genuine human connections that we make in country. We still have each other, but invariably we are saying goodbye to some amazing people, both from Global Brigades and from the communities we visited.
This trip definitely changed me for the better and I think I’m safe in saying that everyone in our group was touched in one way or another. From the constant (and sometimes annoying) riddles and mind games that brought us closer together, to the sunburns, to the profound encounters with amazing people in a very different world, I left with a long overdue fresh perspective. Did we have a lasting impact on the communities we visited? I hope so. Are they on their way to independence? I truly believe so. But one thing that I know for certain is that everyone on this trip is taking with them a fresh take on what it really means to be successful. Success is the ability to help others.