Saying goodbye to Florence was surprisingly a lot easier than saying goodbye to Ecuador. I didn’t cry when I left Italy. I knew that I would be back to Florence and I knew that most of the amazing people that I met were coming home to the United States with me. Leaving Quito on Saturday night was emotionally painful. After getting dinner with the group, our bus drove us into a certain area of downtown where it eventually pulled over and Xavier and Chiri stood up slowly. The goodbye was coming. They said their emotional goodbyes to us and as Xavier started to cry, I began to cry and didn’t stop until we got to the airport. I didn’t want to end our amazing week. Like I said, I fell in love with the people, the culture, and the experience of being in Ecuador. I guess at that time I finally had discovered the treasure of Pachamama, which was life. Xavier and Chiri taught me so many things that I wasn’t expecting to learn. I will never forget what we taught each other and the joys we shared as a group. Sometimes when I catch myself being an impatient and apathetic American I think back to the conversation Xavier and I had about enjoying life and not getting caught up in the negative ways of our own culture. The group discussions during the trip have helped me so much with hearing different perspectives on the environment, self-improvement, and service work. All good things must come to end but I will be forever grateful to have had the chance to travel to Ecuador.