Last night at our meeting we discussed retuning to the US. People assume that they will have some culture shift when they go to a foreign country and they do, but they don't realize that the change that occurs while they are away, means that they will oten experience some culture shift on their return. Even in a few weeks, changes can occur and these need to be fit into their lives at home. Those at home can best help by realizing that culture shift is normal, by listening to stories about the trip and the changes that students have experienced and by being patient with the students as they reintegrate their 'new' selves into North America. Father Chris and Sister Sean are always available to converse with students as shift back to North America.
Today, we visited Susanna in the dump community. She is a sort of Mother Earth of the community, looking out for those who are sick, watching out for neglected children and running the recycling business which provides part of the income for the dump community. She's such a special person that most of us were almost struck dumb in her presence. She had promised to answer any of our questions to the best of her ability and, as she did this, we could see clearly the passion she has for her faith, her family and her community. She is indeed one of the most memorable people we have encountered in Honduras.
After this, we took the rest of the day at a wonderful spa like environment not too far from La Ceiba. We started with a zip line experience, completing about 15 zips through the canopy, a really fun way to start the day. Walking after all that flying seemed a little mundane. Following a nice dinner at noon, we spent time in a series of pools which were progressiving warmer, ending in something like a natural hot tub. A hot spring in the mountains flows into these pools and mixes with the cool water. The scenery is stereotypically jungle... something that you would dream up if you were creating a jungle scene for a Hollywood movie with abundant growth in every direction and scenes of the ocean below. During this time we could also have mud applied which made your skin really smooth and-or have a massage. A really delightful day.
Tonight we have our good bye party. It seems impossible that these two weeks have flown by so quickly.
Tomorrow we leave La Ceiba by bus at half past five in the morning to drive to San Pedro Sula where we will fly to Atlanta. After four hours in Atlanta, we will fly to New York. If everything works right, we should be there about quarter after 12 in the morning. Then we will board the Saint Rose bus for our trip to Albany, arriving in the La Salle Lot (with the entrance across Western Avenue from Albertus Hall.. a different parking lot from the one where we were dropped off) at about 3 AM.
We will be really glad to see you all.