When I was younger I would always hear the saying, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened,” but I never had many opportunities where this idea was vital to follow. But, tonight, after a day full of questioning government officials, and playing intense games of Wallyball (volleyball played in a smallish room where you can hit it against the walls and the ceiling), we had our goodbye dinner with the inspiring employees at the Rio Beni Foundation. After eating a great meal, Joselo (the Rio Beni Dirctor), Will, Max, Jillian, and Ted all spoke about the friendships that were made and the many thanks that were deserved.
It is hard to think that we may never see these amazing, selfless people again but instead of crying and being down about having to go, we can smile and remember the many people we met and the memories we will always hold. We can always remember the sweat we put into helping others, and the smiles we received when playing a game in the community, or even just the dirt that was obtained when gathering materials with Joselo and Antonio. Even though this life changing experience of helping and giving to others is over and we have to say goodbye to some of the most inspiring people ever, we will always have the power to look back, and smile.