The "fiesta de despedida" is a "farewell party" but I'd prefer to think of it as more of a "sending forward." Everyone has worked so hard that I feel good about sending them forward. Kris had the great idea to make books using pictures from the past two years as gifts and to give UNO pins. There was a ceremony in which the vice-dean from UNAN-Leon spoke of the gratitude for the collaboration between UNO and UNAN-Leon. She gave each of the teachers a Diplomado certificate and the significance of this ritual was evident in the numerous photos! :-) With Nicaragua moving more toward a dictatorship (again), the importance of training teachers is even more urgent!!
There was such a positive energy in the room and I can only attribute that to the sense of pride & accomplishment in becoming even better teachers. The gratitude was palpable also in the gifts the teachers gave us which were individualized. The dean's office ordered meals for each of the teachers and Johanna Jiron made some pasta for us. She also brought fresh vegetables and garlic bread. :-)
One of the first things that made me fall in love with the Nicaraguans, is the authenticity of the relationships. They have so little in material possessions but they are wealthy in ways that most Americans can only dream about and I am blessed to share in it.