Sunday, May 9, 2010


We left Dos Mangas for good on Thursday, and the days leading up to our departures were full of good-byes. On Sunday we had the comuna wide celebration for the whole family. I planned to give a little talk, show off some artifacts, and had arranged to provide cake. I figured the families of the people I dug with and the close friends that we made over the course of the year would show up. It was scheduled to start at 4pm. 5:30 rolled around and the was nobody there. I was starting to feel a bit concerned, but about then the cabildo showed up, got on the megaphone, and started calling people to the party. Not only did way more people that I expected show up, but different people from the community contributed to make it a real party. One guy played some traditional songs on the guitar, the women's association did a traditional costeno dance and made me get up there with them, there were several other speeches by cabildo members, and then they pitched in and added empanadas and soda to the little feast. We barely had enough cake to go around, but we made it, and it was a great night!

Me, mid-talk
Getting covered in frosting as I cut the cakes

 I finished my analyses on Tuesday (WOOHOO) and on Wednesday morning we moved everything over to the casa comunal for storage. It was great to get all of that out of house so that the packing could begin in earnest.

Wednesday afternoon we went to Baby Girl's daycare to have a going away party for her. It was so great to see her running around with all her little friends. Once again, when we thought we were just going to do cake, the day care surprised us by making a whole meal and inviting us to eat with them. I think BG was starting to get what was going on and got kind of upset towards the end. Poor little thing.

Baby Girl dancing the a conga line with her classmates
On Wednesday night a bunch of people came over for final farewells, and then we took a walk on Thursday morning to see the people that we hadn't been able to say goodbye to before then. It really started to hit me, and I'll admit that I shed a few tears, not so much about leaving the place, but definitely about leaving the people. Friends gave us a bunch the local handicrafts as we walked along to say goodbye to take home with us a souvenirs. 

Amazingly for us, with our history of moves, we managed to get everything packed and the house cleaned up without pulling a single all-nighter, and we even managed to get out of the house and catch our bus at the time that we planned. Steve shot some video as we left town, and I get misty thinking about it, because people kept coming out of their houses to say good-bye as we drove away. What a great end to an incredible year.

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