A Bittersweet 'Despedida'

          The time has come to say goodbye to the program directors of 2010-2011 and transition into the new group of volunteers for the upcoming year, which always makes for a difficult yet exciting change.  Two nights ago in El Farito we held our annual despedida party, formally presenting the new volunteers to the community and giving the old ones a chance to say goodbye.  This year was unique in that we had the opportunity to introduce the new program director, Katie Messick, to the community as well.  Even though this happens every year, it still was no easy task for the program directors to bid farewell to all of the people they had become so close with this past 10-13 months.
          So the evening began with a trivia game that required the community to investigate into the lives of the new program directors, trying to discover which of the volunteers paired up with the list of trivia facts given.  Then after Amira introduced Katie and the new program directors, a handful of girls from the community performed both folklore and reggaetown dances.  Along with the help of program directors Steph and Carly, the girls were all dressed up for the occasion, wearing traditional Nicaraguan skirts and tops with makeup and hair to along with it; they all looked beautiful and danced wonderfully.  It was then time for each of the program directors of 2010-2011 to say their own special goodbye, which lead into the final and probably most anticipated event, the photo slideshow.  The slideshow was a brief five minute video of pictures that captured just a handful of the many memories and experiences that took place this past year.  The rest of the night was then spent eating cake and hanging out with the community members.  There were tears and there was laughter and of course photos being snapped in every which direction, making the entire evening absolutely awesome but definitely bittersweet as well.
A snapshot of the community members present.
Dayana dressed up in her traditional Nicaraguan folklore outfit.
The new program directors of 2011-12.
Steph and Carly dancing with some of the community members.