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With our work directly in Chioya at an end, we've begun our trip toward home and our re-entry back to our own communities, families and lives. The day was largely a day of reflection and travel. We took advantage of the more relaxed schedule of the day by taking time after breakfast to reflect on this experience and share our thoughts.
It is difficult to put into words what we feel and what we have experienced. We will be processing this over the next many days and weeks but we shared the 1st draft of our thoughts with each other. We asked ourselves what it means to have come to Chioya and what it now means to us to be leaving. Some of us shared a sense of solidarity, joy, pain, community and regrets that we couldn't do more.
We discussed how our service here potentially has a big impact but also seems so small in the bigger picture. Among the heartfelt sharing and tears, evidence of good hard work emerged in stores of bug bites, scrapes and small cuts. Several of us talked about he sense of family that has developed amongst the Providence team here, the type of bond that comes through intense shared experience. During the 6 hour trek to Antigua, we were treated to ample sun and scenery of dramatic mountains and valleys. We were all a bit physically and emotionally tired and passed the time by chatting, sleeping, reading and listening to music. Antigua is a beautiful city in the southwest mountains of Guatemala. The well preserved Spanish influence is evident in its architecture and people. A dramatic volcano rises above the city adding to the sites. We had some time to explore the city before dinner.
It was a bit strange to be in a more developed city, seeing many tourists and hearing English on the street. This seems to be a good, necessary stage of our re-entry. It begins to test the questions of how we see and behave in a community more like our own. Do we see people differently? Do we spend money differently? How has this experience really changed the way we think and act?
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