We said goodbye today after Spanish class. Some flew out this morning, so we did not see them, but most will leave Saturday. A few will stay a couple days more.
I ran back to CANICA this afternoon and all the staff was wearing surgical masks because there has been a blockade to the major garbage dump the whole month we have been here. The garbage has been piling up across the way from them, and the smell was so bad, it was toxic. I felt almost guilty that I have the option of going home to the cleanest air in the USA.
I learned that I can plan and run an international trip. I learned that to do it well takes an incredible amount of time, and that in turn takes its toll on other areas of one's life. I learned that in Mexico, relationships are first and foremost in having a successful project, whereas in the USA, the project is the most important thing.
I highly recommend our guide, Ivan Zafra, and have included his business card here. Thank you to Joshua Sage, last year's coordinator, that selflessly shared his contacts in Oaxaca and opened the door to our voyage to Tlapazola. Thanks also to Jennifer Case Nevarez back in Santa Fe, who managed the bookkeeping for this trip. Thank you to The Master's Program and to Monte del Sol Charter School, who both gave full scholarships to one teacher from each school. Thank you to last year's LISTO couple of Jim and Grace Ronhovde, who enjoyed this experience so much, they gave a generous donation to make it possible for a teacher to attend this year. Thank you to Dawn Wink, who managed the SFCC end of things 100%. Thanks to all the educators who gave up their summer vacations, sacrificed their time with their families, and were willing to leave home to come to Oaxaca. And, thank you to my wife Patricia, and son, Noah, who most felt the impact of all the time I put into this project, and not into them.
So, we are off to Mexico City early in the morning before continuing on to Santa Fe, and it is time to close down this blog for awhile, recapture my personal life, and maybe run a few miles in my spare time. Or, maybe take my ever patient wife to someplace quiet, soon!
For those of you following along, please spread the word. I imagine sometime in September we will be promoting LISTO 2018, and based on the exit interviews of this trip, we are going to fill up fast!
Good night, Ollín. Good night, CANICA. Good night, Guelaguetza. Good night, busses rumbling by all night. Good night, Tlayudas. Good night, very loud fireworks. Good night, parades. Good night, LISTO 2017. Good night, Oaxaca.