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Christopher Vito: Our Last Day and Departure from Bioko


Today’s been hectic and filled with mixed emotions. Unsurprisingly, the majority of us put our packing off until the last day. No one was rushing last minute, but it was definitely busy. Some of us did some last minute shopping for gifts. (I did both of these things today). So with all the running around, it was really hard to reflect on the fact that we’re finally done here. There was the occasional exclamation of “Dude, I can’t believe this is it!” from just about everyone, but that was about it. After getting all of our stuff together, we had one final meal from the Equatoguinean equivalent of fast food.
Although, hold up, I think I need to describe this fast food. Because unlike fast food in America, it’s not really just a cheaper, quicker, less healthy version of something better. No, not with this stuff. I’m not sure any of us ever learned what the place is actually called, but we called our favorite place “Half Chicken.” You could probably guess why: you get half a chicken. With that you have a choice of rice, plantains, or spaghetti, and it costs 5 dollars. Not too bad. And while there are many places that serve the same menu items, none come close to this place. Their chicken is cooked to perfection, with a crispy, well-seasoned skin and breast meat that is delicious and not too dry. And it’s quick. So this place was definitely the right choice for our final meal. Anyway, back to the story.
I guess really the point I was trying to make is that it’s a weird feeling to finally be leaving this place. Even though we’ve gotten sick of a lot of the food and many aspects of Equatoguinean culture, I think we’ve all come to love this place. Personally, I’m very ready to go home, but I couldn’t shake a weird feeling about departing. It’s a chapter in our lives that came and went so quickly that it hardly even feels like it happened. It was a crazy ride; we had to learn how to handle ourselves in a culture that’s vastly different from our own, and we simultaneously had to learn how to live in a house with 10 people who organically would not have chosen to live together. Each of us had our times of frustration, and our times of just general discontent with the whole place. But in spite of all the change and overwhelmingly different lifestyle, we had a great time.
Earlier today, we all sat down and watched a video made by Gabi, one of the students here. She’d been carrying a go-pro around with her just about everywhere and taking videos constantly. At the time she was filming it all, most of us thought it was annoying and just wanted her to stop asking us questions with a camera in our face. But when we saw the video, each of us were incredibly grateful that she’d done so. We got to look back on all the great times we’d had, and we’ll have that video for the rest of our lives to reminisce. It sounds cheesy, but I think that video was an incredible reminder of how awesome this trip was. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I can say that I’ve grown enormously from this experience and can’t thank myself enough for having decided to do this.

*I didn’t have any pictures from the trip, so included a picture of our last group meal at a restaurant on the night before we left.

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