as expected, i was unable to make it through the last day of work without crying. toward the end of the day, everyone ran off and hid in the women's dressing room (where all such parties have always happened) in a really funny semi-attempt to be secretive about it, and then they brought me in there. the lights were off, and when i got there they turned on the lights and some 20 of my co-workers (everyone working that shift plus a few others) began singing auld lang syne--in spanish! it turns out the words aren't any better known in this country, because the song fell apart just like it does in english, and then came back together for "auld lang syne". next, dra. kon the anesthesiologist made a speech, and then dr. corral the anesthesiologist made a speech, and then karen the head of nurses at the hospital spoke, and then ximena the boss of the OR spoke. throughout all of this i was doing a pretty good job of biting my lip and screwing my face up, but then they asked me to talk, and i got about two words out before i got all choked up. i did the best i could to put into words what the people i've seen every day the last 4 months or so have come to mean to me, but i don't think i did a very good job. i'm much calmer now, but i still can't. i probably won't ever be able to, really. if you've done anything like this, you might know. but they all ended up as more than friends, and more than colleagues, and even more than people who shared and helped make an incredible learning and growing experience for me. i don't know. i'm already pretty sad about leaving, and i can tell i don't really get that i won't see these people again after the weekend.
anyway, i'm going to miss these people. this was one of those experiences you can tell you're not going to remember everything you want to as it's happening. here's some pictures.
here's dra. kon (under 4, 5, and 6) speechifying.
ximena applauds a speech, and i stand with my arms crossed. this is what i look like when i'm trying to will myself out of showing a room full of people what a crybaby i am.
in my defense, i wasn't the only one who cried. these people were really hoping mexico would do better than a tie against angola today.
there were also gifts (including this t-shirt, a wool south america-style poncho, and a wallet (now ecuador and i are even on wallets)) and cake and snacks and food. ecuadoreans like to throw parties, and they always do it up right, even if it's not for a particularly meaningful event.
so that was my last day of work. tomorrow we play the médicos again (this time in the final round--we're in first place with two games to go!), and then sunday i hang out with missionary dan (remember him from my first post when i got here? daughter likes shania twain. that's a reference for the loyal readers). on monday i take a night bus to guayaquil, and from there the second phase of this adventure begins!