Well we’re all safely back in the USA after three flights starting in Asuncion Paraguay to Sao Paulo Brazil, Miami and finally Dulles and Home. The trip may be over, but the memories will last for a life time. During our time in South America our group transitioned from a group traveling together to a group of friends that I hope will last for a long time. Yes it was HOT, but I don’t think that affected our enjoyment of the experience one iota.
The opportunity to be immersed in a different culture is something that is priceless, and our experience our ones that I don’t think any of us will soon forget. From visiting the native Paraguayan Indian reservation and joining in on a native dance, to our side trip to Iguaco National Park in Brazil and seeing 127 waterfalls on one tremendous journey through the park, each is a memory that will last forever.
Our last few days saw us travel south from Asuncion to the city of Encarnacion for a night of good food and good friends, and then north west the next day to Cuidad Del Este, where Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil all come together. We returned to Asuncion for one final night and a wonderful dinner hosted by Jay Gonzalez’s father and several Paraguayan SU friends, (who I’m not naming at this point for fear of misspelling their names.) We were greatly relieved that one of our members, Marykay Hester, after suffering a swollen ankle much of the week, was give a clean bill of health after a visit to a local Asuncion hospital. According to Mary Kay, the care was fantastic.
I can’t say enough Joaquin “Jay” Gonzalez and how he made our experience in a foreign country so much easier. To say “Thank You” just doesn’t seem enough. Also the warmth and openness afforded to us by Jay’s parents, father Jose and mother Silvia, we will remember them with great fondness. Both will be visiting the US in the next several months, and hopefully we will welcome them as warmly as they did us.
So now we retire to our memories, pictures and videos, and remember the trip of a lifetime. I have to say that the GCP program offers us at Shenandoah amazing opportunities to truly learn what global citizenship is all about. What did I learn from this trip? That deep down all people, Hispanic, Asian, Indian or American have many similarities, we just have to get past the language barrier and that is one thing I plan to do. After being in a Spanish speaking country and how many people in the world, now speak that language, I am going to learn the language. Not just for me, but for those that I will meet in the future. It’s a small world, and it’s getting smaller all the time, so we need to embrace global citizenship. As I said once and I’ll say it again, “GCP it’s not just fun, it’s an adventure.”
Signing off and fade to black.