Tuesday, June 16
Today was an enormously fun day. The rain god, Chaac, ruined our Saturday plans to go to Isla Mujeres but we endured the insult and were able to squeeze in a day trip to the lovely island just off the north coast of Cancun. It was a fast trip and we had to move as a super organized group in order to make it work. We would arrive at Isla Mujeres at 10:30 and had to leave on the 2:00 ferry for Cancun.
One purpose of the trip was for John Gray (Juan Gris) to have a chance to visit the sanctuary of Ixchel, goddess of the rainbow, fertility, abundance, love, and medicine. Another reason was to have another chance to see the beautiful, clear, magical water of the Caribbean. The iguanas were everywhere and John was able to get some fabulous pictures. The sculptures were very unique. The intense beauty of the place was startling and we even saw a group of turtles swimming and playing. It was a fabulous morning.
We were able to make it back to the ferry and crossed back to Cancun and our families so we could get ready for the 5:00 P.M. graduation services.
It is hard to explain the emotional unity of the evening. There is not doubt that this is a very close group Several speeches were made by university officials. Each student gave a speech in which he/she thanked the professors, the families, and the universities for the gift of being able to study at La Salle University and live in Cancun. Each speech was unique and personal and extremely well presented. The Rector was impressed that Intermediates could express themselves so proficiently. Shelby gave a special thank you to her host family by showing in dance her gratefulness for having lived with them [insert video]. Everyone received a diploma. This is a photo of the students of EL PUENTE, the Rector, the Vice Rector, Martha Aguilar (Spanish teacher) and Alberto Celarie (Mayan History teacher), coordinator Vicki Cosio. What a happy group! What a wonderful group of students!
Tomorrow at 11:00 A.M. all students will arrive at the airport; at 2:00 we will begin our trek back home to the United States and Wichita. We may see/feel the after effects of Hurricane Bill (the former tropical storm of Saturday and Sunday) but our flights look good all the way to 7:30 when we arrive back in Wichita. There is no doubt that this group of the 20th anniversary of our study abroad program with La Salle, Cancun has been very unique and very successful. These students have adapted to the Mexican culture; they have questioned and learned a myriad of important things; they matured as individuals as they learned how to survive abroad. They have been wonderful examples of the positive side of citizens of the United States, Kansas, Wichita. It has been an enormous pleasure to travel and interact with the students of EL PUENTE. These are ten students who are aimed for a successful, fruitful life as global citizens.