The end of my internship with Chalice / Esperanza seemed to come all too quickly. For my last time playing at Chalice, on Tuesday morning I played Ashokan Farewell on violin, accompanied by Heidi (one of the coolest people at Chalice, an accomplished pianist). On Wednesday evening I went to a great event hosted by the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC) in which some international development partners shared a bit about what they do; it was neat to catch up with several people I knew at the event. I spent Thursday morning with my fellow intern at a Halifax school presenting to two Spanish classes and a middle/high school group about our experiences interning in Peru. The school was very welcoming and we were surprised at the excellent level of Spanish of the students.
Friday was the final day of my internship with Chalice / Centro Esperanza and it was certainly one to remember. In the morning I was lucky to spend 15 minutes in the conference room where several Chalice staff were having a Skype call with directors and social workers from our sponsor sites in Kenya, Zambia and Tanzania. These Chalice partners were attending a regional conference and were excited about sharing good ideas and best practices and about coming to know their fellow East-African partners (and the two Canadian Chalice staff at the conference) better. It was exhilarating to hear a unique energetic joy and friendliness come through their accents as they spoke in English (and it was neat to hear a translation from Kiswahili to English for one attendee). Most of all it was fulfilling to know that our partners are able to attend such events thanks to support from Chalice Canada that will allow them to continue growing by learning from each other, the real actors in local community development. Chalice’s partners in Latin America did so two weeks ago at a 5-day conference in Lima, Peru.
After wrapping up some final tasks at the office, Friday continued with a delicious potluck lunch shared by the Chalice team (usually done at the end of each month). Many goodbyes were said during the course of the afternoon. It felt like many of the team members were trying to pass along their wisdom, especially about jobs and life paths. I appreciated their sincere advice and care they showed right up until the evening, in which my last moments with the team were spent enjoying dinner and dancing salsa and merengue, a really fun bonding activity, one which certainly brought back musical memories of Peru.
Since Saturday morning I have been back in the town where I attended university (Sackville, NB) spending time with university friends and saying hasta luego to them as I leave tomorrow for my parents’ home in western Canada. While I have hardly been home in recent years and do sometimes miss being there, it has now been several years since I have been anchored in Atlantic Canada and leaving is bitter-sweet. Here are the comforting songs I’m listening to as I write, ones written and performed by Bolivia, fellow university students who describe themselves as, “a five piece folk-pop band from Sackville, New Brunswick who prides themselves on dynamic live performances where they offer an eclectic blend of harmonies and engaging instrumentation…”. I will miss many wonderful individuals and families I have come to know here, as well as the bright blue winter skies, not to mention the folk music scene of the region. I know one day I’ll be back, I just don’t know when that will be.
Although another chapter in my life is about to end, I might add that I new one will begin tomorrow:
my family is adopting a dog. And am I ever excited.