As I sit on this balcony overlooking the picturesque Lake Titicaca and a setting sun on the horizon, I begin to reflect on this life-changing experience I have had the privilege to partake in. Isla del Sol is jaw-dropping, and today, the group hiked around the island heading towards the north for 3 hours. We had incredible views in every direction, whether it was the monstrous Cordillera Range in the Andes or a faint view of Copacabana. Every sight on this island is absolutely breathtaking. We then proceeded to an incredible Bolivian lunch. They brought us baskets and baskets of bread, accompanied by tasty entrees. The last few days have been spent reflecting as we are unfortunately wrapping up the course. We had our final bead ceremony, where we as a group share our individual thoughts on a deeper subject. The final topic was about something that inspired us, and how we are going to bring that home. I picked a yellow bead, and talked about the bright ways in which the Rio Beni Health Clinic carries out their work. I also want to incorporate Joselo’s (Director of the Rio Beni Health Clinic) passion and drive in his career into my daily work and life. He’s always so positive despite some of the challenges the clinic faces, and the group truly admires him. He has been an inspiration to us all.
This afternoon, Steph touched on some of the ways in which coming back home can be exhilarating, yet challenging when coping with some of the less positive feelings. It feels like forever ago when the group made its way up river to Gredal. The time spent there was an experience that the group will cherish for the rest of their lives. The knowledge we gained, and the impact we made is so uplifting in bringing water filters into a community plagued with bacteria and viruses. I feel so thankful to have had the opportunity to make an immense impact in a secluded village. The time spent in Gredal has inspired me to continue meaningful and out of the ordinary service work in the future, and has instilled a sense of appreciation for the impact I have made in Bolivia and the individuals who have made an impact on me. It will be challenging to say “Goodbye” to such a tight knit group, but I always think of it as a “see you later.” Every single person on this trip has inspired me. I’m going to end with a piece of advice that I have taken in from this learning experience: Make the most of every minute.