From the journal of Mikia:
Our last full day in San Lucas started off with a typical breakfast of oatmeal and beans. I was very excited because they were serving naranjada which is really a sweet orange juice! Thanks to music by Quinn, we finished our last dish duty. Peter took off for a six hour hike up a volcano with two of the long-term volunteers, Heather and Alex. The rest of our group went to the women’s center for the third day in a row. On today’s agenda – traditional cooking class. We started by cutting carrots and green beans, and then putting them into a food processor to mix them together and created smaller pieces. At the same time, others worked on perfecting a mashed plantain mixture that would later be fried. Later we worked on making tostadas out of the same mixture tortillas are made of. Tostadas are thinner and fried after being baked. The tostadas were topped with ingredients of the consumers choosing – red sauce, beans, guacamole, veggies, cilantro, and cheese. The mashed plantain mixture was filled with either beans or chocolate, and then given a slight flour coating. The plantain was fried and served with the option of adding cream and sugar. Local women cooked beside us while their children roamed freely around the women’s center. When there was not much cooking left to be done, many of us enjoyed playing with the kids. For the first time this whole trip, a mom let us hold her baby. Some kids played with small toys inside, while others outside were sliding down concrete slides or pretend cooking in the grass. Many of the young girls were fascinated by the blonde hair that Courtney and I have. It was hard to say goodbye to all the kids. More than 30 women and children piled into the back of a truck and waved while screaming “Adios!” We returned to the bibleoteca around 12:30 for lunch: bread tortillas, beef and potatoes, pasta salad, and fresh fruit. After everyone had finished eating, we headed back to the hotel to rest a little before spending one last afternoon around the town. We walked to a nearby candy store and bought some goodies. After enjoying a snickers frappe at a cute café, we drove 45 minutes to a lookout to enjoy a sunset over the lake. It was a bit chilly outside and so most of us enjoyed the view from inside the fan. Then we drove back to San Lucas to have our final dinner at Toliman Hotel and Restaurant. We shared nachos, conversation, and laughter. Our departure tomorrow will be very sad, but I will always cherish the friendships and memories that were made.