Day 178

The Last Lunch

(I’m getting quite sentimental now. Cue the Boyz II Men.)

We celebrated our last day at the Foundation (as in, physically in the building) on Monday. It was another We Tripantu celebration, but was more for the gathering and preparing lunch together (without a ceremony).

Nick and I were the first to arrive at the Foundation, and some artisans like Señora Zenobia and Don José joined shortly after. We were going to have an “asado con carne y mariscos”, said Susana, or a grilled meats and clams/mussels, prepared by grillmaster Don José himself.

We helped by peeling potatoes, and Queen Isabel was making her fantastically delicious sopaipillas, with Zenobia (her sister) helping in the kitchen. There was homemade pebre (very similar to pico de gallo salsa) and navegado, which from a previous post, is my new favorite Chilean cocktail. (We will definitely prepare it for the holidays this year.)

It was a rainy day, so it was nice to just stay in the kitchen and visit. Señora Sandra and Señora Estrella arrived shortly after. Don José was outside dousing the mariscos in white wine, which was just as delicious as it sounds.

It was really nice, we shared an absolutely delectable meal with all the people that we’ve come to know over the past 6 months. We visited, and fielded the many interesting questions about the US that we usually get from Sandra, looked at Soledad’s weaving work, and ate dessert. They even decorated the room with photos of Nick and I over the last six months, which was really sweet.

Susana stopped the chatter halfway through and made a really nice speech about our time here and how much they appreciated our support. It was really, really nice. They presented Nick and I each with a gift made by Don José. Mine was a stunning trapel necklace (which is a miniature replica of those worn by Mapuche women) and Nick received a toki kura pendant, which symbolizes the leader during war times. Susana hoped that when we have these things, that we think about them and our time at the Foundation. (Insert sobbing face).

After, Sandra and Estrella (two artisans from Rakizuam) offered us a going-away gift as well: a replica of a pre-colombian pitcher with two spouts used to share a drink together. It was a really kind sentiment, and we really are going to treasure these items so much when we have them in our future home.

Nick and I tried to express our gratitude in our elementary Spanish, but we felt such love from everyone in the room. This has been such a special time in our lives — something we’ll never experience again — so having this last lunch was a nice way to close this chapter.

I kept saying, “No es adios, es nos vemos!” (It’s not goodbye, it’s we’ll be seeing you!). We definitely want to come back to Chile again some day, and I plan on continuing to support the Foundation upon returning (which we’ll detail in another post!).

P.S. – We also gave Vivi, Yasmin, and Susana WMP swag bags (because we know how much WMP loves swag). I think they really liked them. 🙂

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