This morning was so heart-wrenching. Mitchka, Katie, and I said bye to Mario, Nidia, and Estefany and it was so sad :( I really can't believe that nearly 4 weeks have come and gone and we're already saying bye to our host family. My heart physically hurts while writing this, and the thing that made it so hard was Estefany started crying when we were saying bye. I'm really going to miss their family, especially when they so easily welcomed us as one of their own.
Moving on, trying not to think about actually leaving Xela. So when we got to Xelapan to meet up with Erika and the bus driver, I remembered that I couldn't find my keychain that had my USB drives and the keys for my room in Los Angeles. I remembered that I left my USB drive at the printing station when we were printing photos for Dr. Quinn and Erika. So I left my bags with Erika, Mitchka, and Katie and I walked over to the photo place right next to Tacorazón but when i arrived I saw that it was closed. I felt a pretty deep sinking feeling as I started walking over to the new meeting spot that Erika gave me. That sinking feeling only got worse as I sat by myself and wondered when, or if, they would be turning the corner to find me. I was by myself for a good 40 minutes before I looked up and finally saw the tour bus with everyone on it. When I got on, I told Erika and Dr. Quinn that the photo place was closed and they egged me on for another 20 seconds or so before Erika finally told me that somebody had my keychain the whole time. It felt much better once I got my keychain and the rest of the ride over to Antigua I felt pretty calm.
After getting to Antigua and checking into her hotel, we stopped by this amazing crepe place called Luna de Miel and I got this delicious chicken pesto crepe. It was a little bit rich so I wasn't actually able to finish it but it filled me up a good amount before we headed out for our tour of a coffee farm!
Like all good adventures, we all hopped into several tuk-tuks to bring us to the meeting spot with our guides for the coffee tour. After getting a brief introduction to coffee, we made the hike up to the actual coffee farm and we learned a lot of information regarding the tactics that they use in order to get the best coffee possible. We also got to see how they plant a new coffee tree and they showed us some ripe coffee beans!
Then we went to the coffee farmer's house to learn how the coffee is processed, roasted, and eventually ground up for drinking! The smell of the coffee during the roasting process was amazing, and grinding up the coffee with a long slab rock was really satisfying because it made this crunching sound that gave me a similar feel to popping bubble wrap. And don't get me started on the taste of the coffee. Oh my goodness. I got pretty used to drinking coffee everyday because it was always available at Sol Latino but the coffee that they gave us to try was something else. The flavor was so rich and it really seemed to me that there was an increase in quality.
After we got back from the coffee tour, we all changed for our last dinner with Dr. Quinn and Erika as a big group. The restaurant we went to was themed after Frida Kahlo which was actually pretty cool and the food and drinks were fantastic. Following dinner, we went back to the hotel to pre-game for a night out to celebrate Sofia's 19th birthday! We ended up going to this bar that I can't quite remember the name of but I do remember that we were dancing on top of tables and on top of the bar so it was definitely a really good night. To cap it off, we all came back to the hotel and there's this spot that you can take some stairs up to and it's this really nice panoramic view of Antigua. We all just sat up there together and reminisced at how fast this trip went by. It's actually really hard writing this because I so desperately want to believe that we're not done with our trip yet. I'm really going to miss this place. And I'm going to miss the bond that all of us forged together over the last 4 weeks. Tomorrow is our last day here and I can't believe it. I think I might actually cry. -Scott