With only three more days left of the Project, our hearts were filling up with bittersweet feelings knowing that these last moments would be our final time together. After a long duration of travelling by boat and bus, we have safely arrived back in Asuncion's Hotel Palmas del Sol. On Sunday, we visited the Asuncion Church to give a report of our time at Bahia Negra and Puerto Leda. The community of Asuncion Church has prepared us a wonderful lunch and performance for us to enjoy. We are filled with gratitude for this community who has welcomed us and treated us so kindly during our stay here in Asuncion. Since it was a beautiful day, the participants later got to play some soccer with the youth of the community. They all had an enjoyable afternoon engaging and connecting with each other through sports.
The next day was our last full day together. We had quite a busy morning filled with great opportunities to publicize our stories about the project. We got to step inside the Legislative Palace of Paraguay and meet the President and Vice President. We had the chance to share about our project and even gave one of our project T-shirts as a gift! Afterwards, we visited two newspaper companies: Ultima Hora and ABC Color, two very significant media outlets in Paraguay. During the interviews, both our staff and our participants got to talk about their experience and express their thoughts regarding the project in Bahia Negra and Puerto Leda. Afterwards, we had lunch at a nearby Korean restaurant and enjoyed an afternoon of shopping and cruising the city of Asuncion one last time. Later that evening, we had the Graduation Ceremony where both staff and participants received certificates for completing the project. It was a wonderful night where many people including Mr. Sano, Mr. Maekawa, and the pastor of Asuncion Church and his wife even attended to commemorate this special moment.
On our last day, Aunt Carol prepared for us a "Flower Ceremony," an activity where we got to express our appreciation to one another. It was an emotional experience for many of us as we conveyed our inner feelings of gratitude and endearment for our fellow participants and staff. As we spent a total of 17 days together throughout this project, there were many moments we shared working, conversing, laughing, playing, eating, and singing together. Although we all come from different countries speaking different languages, our internal character transcends through all these differences and barriers. After spending a rather emotional morning filled with tears and hugs, we ended the program with lunch at a Japanese restaurant. As we returned back to the hotel, the participants prepared their luggage and departed for their travels back home.
Thank you for everyone's love and support! We hope to see many more at our next Pathways to a Sustainable Future!