June 23rd, 2014 – Quito, Ecuador
Late in the evening would come the finale to the anticipation we had built up these last 30 days, anxiously awaiting for the secret location of our concluding dinner to be revealed. In the moments leading up to this joyous event, people took the time to discard the jungle dirt from their Amazon stained bodies and groom their castaway appearances. Fingernails were cut (you’re welcome Joe), beards and legs were shaved, and our American finest were donned in preparation of our well-earned prize.
We arrived at a restaurant that boasted of elegance. Tonight we were eating like kings and queens. We shared these moments together seated at the dinner table bonding over our last meal together. The flavors of food could not conceal the sadness though, as we all were experiencing one of the last times we would see each other together again. But the mariachi band in the background introduced a shift in the atmosphere that made it hard to think about our inescapable partings with this country. We sat there, all trying to live in the moment and forget the future for a moment.