Rafael, Andy, & Diana
On Tuesday, our final night in Bua, the community had a despedida, or farewell celebration, for the TBB group of volunteers. My host-mother was happy to prepare me for the party -- I wore my new traditional Tsa Chila skirt that my family gave me: the vibrant, brightly colored striped skirt, and she also gave me a make-over. John got the male Tsa Chila treatment: the traditional achiote hairstyle, which involves crushing bright red berries into hair gel, and putting a crown of cotton balls on top.
John and I, in traditional Tsa Chila dress
We had one last traditional dinner of fish cooked in leaves and the infamous "log" (boiled unripe plantains, smashed and rolled into a flavorless, dense log) and then the festivities began ... Community leaders thanked us for our work, we thanked our host families, and each volunteer recieved a small gift of a beaded bracelet. We saw traditional Tsa Chila music, complete with a marimba and maracas, and a group from the cultural preservation center danced for us. After the ceremony, it was our turn to dance ... It was a great night for the outdoor celebration; we were under a full moon.