Day 11

We’re coming Home!

We have arrived on Canadian soil safe and sound, all together and all with luggage! Everyone was so happy to be home and excited to get through customs and see families and friends waiting on the other side.

The day started with our final breakfast and goodbyes with our host families. For myself, it was so hard as Dona Angelica became my momma for the week and Cora a sister! We met at Casa Blanca for our farewell to Compenaros. We sang them “Let us Build a House” (More Voices #1) including 3 duets for the middle verses. It was powerful, the emotion in the room. We then passed around a bowl with the names of the staff inside. Each TCOW member would pull a name and state how that person had blessed them in the past 10 days. They would then place the blessings we had written to them in a new bowl we had got them. (And just as the first few tried to fly out of the bowl a lime fell from the tree so we used it as our paper weight … very Nicaraguan!) All 23 of us repeated this and there were some tears involved (mostly from me I admit!). After this Gonzalo came around and spoke about us all individually and the gifts we all possessed. Mayte then brought out Compenaros t-shirt for us all to symbolize how we had all become a family. We then said our goodbyes to Dalayna and Marta with big hugs, good wishes, and promises of our return and loaded on the bus. We rode to the airport and did our best soundoff (in Spanish) to date. We said our thanks to the bus driver and Gunther (or body guard) with words, hugs, tears and maple syrup. We loaded up and all got checked in. We headed to immigration and said our goodbyes to Gonzalo and Mayte with more hugs, strengthening and encouraging words and hopes for the future. After customs and security we gathered at our gate and within 10 minutes boarded the plane.
The ride to El Salvador was short, bumpy and hot. We found it funny how that flight offered us pillows and blankets and yet the next flight did not. When arriving in El Salvador we again went to our gate and those of us without seat numbers so seats assigned. We had 45min to get some food before boarding once again and taking off. We were much more spread out this time so visits between seats were a regular and wonderful occurrence. As the plane cooled we slowly and reluctantly changed into warmer clothing. Many of us refused to take off our sandals though and so far … I still have not! When arriving in Toronto customs was empty and all the bags arrived. This was such a pleasant surprise! We took a moment to exchange goodbye hugs before running to parents. It was not to tearful as we now we will see each other on Saturday and into the future with the promise of more Salsa Dancing and Saturday nights together! We all made it through final custom check without getting searched except for Santi. As we walked through his father asked if we had left him behind. On our way out I got lots for hugs and thank yous with were taken to heart and very much appreciated! As far as I have been told all made it home safely from the airport and are back to their lives of school and friends and temptation.

-Blogged by Sarah-