Farewell to Quito, Welcome to Service!

Our sixth week came fast and, with it, time to wrap up our academic, cultural, and artistic activities, and to say goodbye to Quito. The time flew by, and while we had great times as a group exploring the city, taking road trips to beautiful places, and meeting cool people, the most significant component of the study portion of the program here has been spending time with families. Getting to know them, and having them get to know our students, has been a deeply gratifying  experience. Great relations have grown and bloomed among SSTers and Ecuadorian families.

To celebrate these beautiful connections, we got everyone together for a Farewell Party.

Families were grateful for the experience of having , even if only for a brief moment, “such a sweet and loving daughter or son.” Students showed their gratitude the way they know best: through their art. During the event, students performed sketches in Spanish, songs and dances, including Goshen College’s very own  “Alma Mater.”

After the performances, students shared their thoughts and thanked the families for the warmth, affection, openness, attention, care, sweetness, solidarity, and food (of course!) with flowers and other gifts. Their teachers also received flowers for their wisdom and fun teaching styles, and the staff at Casa de Espiritualidad for their generosity and attention.

Although those of us remaining in Quito are sad to see the students leave – and the students are sad to go – we were all glad to celebrate together.

When the program ended, everybody just danced and enjoyed the moment.

They all look so serious, but half are laughing on the inside and the other half are trying to contain the waterworks.

In the morning, we got together bright and early to discuss logistics and ready ourselves for the next stage of SST: Service. Though time was short, we devoted a few minutes to sharing our thoughts on these past six weeks and our hopes for the future. The group reflected on the solid friendships, fun connections, and good vibes they formed here.

¡Hasta pronto, Quito!

¡Hola, comunidades de servicio!