By Overseas Educators Kate and Julian

To our beloved Inti family!

12 weeks. Wow. It feels impossible to believe that adventure could ever fly by so quickly. It seems like in just a blink of an eye we have found ourselves in December, but in that blink we have come so far together and grown immeasurably both as individuals and as a group. Through the many laughs, tears, shared meals, adventures while lost in new towns, conversations with locals, etc, we have all loved and supported each other along the way. We know these experiences have provided us with new skills, characteristics, and knowledge that will propel us through the coming experiences of our lives.

As we prepare to head back to our lives in the U.S., we are beginning to feel the realities of reentry and that we will no longer be spending our days with you; our passionate, quirky and lovable group of young adults. It has been such a privilege for us to serve as leaders and educators over the semester. We are so amazed by the personal growth we have seen in everyone and are so excited to see what comes next for each member of this Inti family.

We will miss the long travel days that forced us all to cooperate and look out for each other, the shared experiences of tasting unique new foods at each of the 5 rural communities we stayed in, the deep group discussions and shared processing of experiences, and the one-on-one conversations that helped us to understand the unique perspectives brought in by this group from all over the U.S. We will miss hearing about and responding to the day-to-day normalities of life on the road with 14 students. An egg laid on Dana’s (the vegan) pillow! A passport lost/stolen at the bus station! Daily use of the medical kits! Learning to flip an omelette! Running with llamas at night! Performing the Cotton Eye Joe dance in Pucará! A water bottle getting run over in the first week! Aerial yoga! Eating placenta soup, heart, and intestines in Quito on the first day! Playing and singing Riptide in Quito! Vegetarian meatballs at the yoga retreat! Supporting each other through canyoning! Morning yoga and meditation! Ab workouts through laughter! Getting excited over lentils with Kate and Julian! Laughing and sharing stories with homestay families and friends! Josh breaking the glass window! WIll breaking the sky light! All of us breaking nearly everything! The Great Bug Massacre of October 2017, feat. the Amazon! The Great Bug Massacre of November 2017, feat. Christian and his shovel! When Josh bought everyone alfajores while working on the mural! Brian playing electric guitar while Naomi sang during our music demonstration! Trident gum meets lip! Christian’s noticias report and him “collecting information for the TSA agents.” Countless conversations while hiking! The burger after church! Karaoke in Baños! Carrying chickens through the streets in Otavalo! Hot springs in Baños, Pucará, Lares, and on the trek! Running through the Amazon jungle and chasing butterflies! Skateboarding in Lobitos! Hiking onto the mesa at the yoga retreat! Haggling in the market in Pisac! Calling family from payphones and internet cafes! Ruins in the sacred valley! Waving! Cooking french toast for the family in Peguche! Pulling glass out of Will’s foot! Surfing and surfing and surfing! Matt, Chris, and Kate sous chef-ing at the restaurant in Lares! Chris, Brian, Anya, and Lauren frolicking through the field on the hike to Casa de Árbol! Puppies at Las Delicias! Dogs everywhere! Gringo the dog! Rides in the back of pick-ups! Singing songs in the van on the way to Las Delicias! Buying our boots and wearing them whenever possible! Laughing! Singing on the Amazon beach under the beautiful night sky and stars! Journaling in Machu Picchu! Alfajores and empanadas in Ollantaytambo! Claire’s amazingly educational blog post! “You mean Blade Runner?”! Volleyball on the beach and a boat adventure that definitely involved getting wet and also jellyfish! Singing at church with Juan Carlos! Marquillas! Going fishing off the boat in Lobitos and eating extremely fresh ceviche! When Josh shaved his arms instead of washing them! Week 1 and having a first Spanish conversation in the market with a family selling lunch, thus setting the stage for a semester of Spanish confidence! Sharing dessert recipes with Kate! Breaking a pipe at Finca Mono Verde! Frozen chocolate bananas! The drive to Lares! Eating breakfast next to a glacier-covered mountain during the Salkantay trek! Being one of the first groups up to Rainbow Mountain and doing it together! Tubing down the Amazon, for some on the sun and for some in the hilariously heavy rain! Games with Lorena! Granadillas at Tom’s! The entire trip!

To all the parents: Thank you for entrusting us with your children. Each of them are incredibly special and the love and care you have put into their development shows in their character. They all found their own ways to step up to the plate, contribute to our Inti family, and move towards greater knowledge of themselves, their passions, and what they want to bring to this world. It’s been an honor.

To Inti: We will miss you all so much! Thank you for trusting and opening up to us, asking us all the important (and ridiculous) questions, and allowing us the honor of working with you for the past 3 months. Each of you fill us with pride to know you and keep us filled with wonder for the world. We have learned more from each of you than we could ever put in words. We are always here for you as friends, resources, and mentors. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!

Wilaurnaiomikchrisjulianyosh Colairmate Bridanachris
Wilaurnaiomikchrisjulianyosh Colairmate Bridanachris
Wilaurnaiomikchrisjulianyosh Colairmate Bridanachris

With love, Kate and Julian