Ciao Italia!!! Ciao Terra!!

Written By OEs Rachael & Adam

Greetings Terra family, friends, and fans! This is the final blog by your OE’s Rachael & Adam. It has been an honor herding your kiddos through airports and train stations for the last couple months! We have shared many a laugh, lots of gelato, weird dance experiences in a yurt, some tears, and met and loved many donkeys along the way.

We started in the mountains of Crete for orientation, moved to Athens to explore the city, and then up to the mountains of the mainland to learn about permaculture and tromp about in the snow. From there we moved to Italy where we played games with European teenagers, learned poco Italiano, cooked many delicious and some disastrous group meals, challenged each other all sleeping in the same room for two weeks, and built a beautiful stone path in a third of the time allotted for it! Go us!

We gallivanted through Rome, tiring ourselves running from incredible historical site to incredible historical site, enjoying delicious international food, and stuffing ourselves with gelato. ‘I think twice a day is reasonable’

We trekked through the vineyards and olive fields of Tuscany, visiting medieval fortresses and sleeping in ancient abbeys along the way. We learned about urban agriculture in beautiful Florence. Then went to the mountains once again for a week of creativity and hard labor in rustic, beautiful Paladini.

We are writing from the coast, the sleepy town of San Vicenzo where we are enjoying student directed travel. They chose to spend our last couple days together lounging on the beach, paddleboarding, and engaging in sweet closing activities.

It has been an honor over these last couple months guiding these lovely, young humans. They have responded to challenges admirably, become good friends, had many deep conversations, and been remarkably self organized! This group really took the reins the last couple weeks and we were able to take a back seat as they figured out train schedules, booked activities, and romped around Europe like the young adults they are.

They are competent travelers completely up for the challenge of exploring this beautiful world in whatever style they please!

This group has a deep sense of social and environmental responsibility. Throughout this trip they have grappled with the state of the world and what their specific journeys in addressing it will be. They have talked out political differences, handled disagreements maturely, and their thinking has evolved along the way. They are smart, capable young people who will do great things! We look forward to following their journeys!

Big gratitude to you, the loving families trusted us to care for your children across the world, thank you for raising lovely people and enabling them to adventure with us!

This has been an impactful journey and we are happy to return your loved ones to you with lots of stories to share. We feel very blessed to have shared space with this group of people the last three months. Each one of the 14 of us contributed their own particular flare and presence to this experience and it would have been vastly different without the presence of any singular group member. We are thankful to know every one of them.

We will soon see them to the airport where we will part ways stupid early in the morning (3:00 am!!). All the feelings! We are sad and happy to end this trip, we are tired and sunkissed and happy to see these people off into the world. We sign off now to enjoy these last precious hours with this lovely group! HUGE gratitude to you!!!