Despedida is another word in Spanish that I prefer to its translation in English, which is a farewell or going away pary. My despedidas have officially begun in my site, on Friday I said goodbye to the English teachers from the municipality at our monthly planning workshop. Most volunteers hate these workshops and many don't even go but I hate missing them because I just love hanging out with this group of teachers. After the workshop was over they took me out for lunch and gave me a couple recuerdos (memories, presents). Not everyone was able to come but here's the group:
After that I went to CEDRU, my friendly neighborhood NGO, and had cake and coke and they gave me a really nice ring as a going away gift which miraculously fits me (they often don't). I also presented the ones who participated in my English class with their certificates for 18 months of participation. Wow.
My seriously awesome cake:
With my class plus one of the German volunteers who's still around:
Handing out certificates:
I spent Saturday and Sunday at a beach near the city of Leon with the English and Business volunteers for our Nica 47 despedida. It was a pretty chill weekend, which is normal for our group. I think the high points of Saturday night were a couple games of Twister played on a homemade board and when the hostel randomly put the instrumental of the national anthem on the stereo and we all stopped what we were doing, saluted, and sang the whole song, much to the shock of the staff and other patrons!
The high point of Sunday was definitely the lobster lunch a few of us indulged in. I've never really eaten lobster and here it cost less than $15 for this:
Everyone was veeeeery happy after that meal:
These several days of despedidas were bookended by celebrations for Teacher's Day, which is actually June 29th but the mayor's office threw a big party for the teachers last Thursday, Monday we celebrated at school, and Tuesday we had the day off again for the actual day. Some photos from Thursday's celebration:
With some teachers from the instituto:
With Joe, the volunteer who lives closest to me & apparently looks like we're related:
And with my friend Blanca who teaches preschool:
On Thursday both of my schools told me I had to be at their Teacher's Day celebrations on Monday, when I really wasn't planning on going to class because I'd still be at the beach. But whatevs, I got up early and made my way down. I actually ended up missing the majority of the festivities at both schools because one started literally three hours late and the other an hour and a half. Sad news. Hopefully I'll have a despedida still at my instituto but I'm getting a sneaking suspicion that they're gonna schedule it for my very last week in-country when I will be living far away and won't be able to make it. I guess we'll see.