We started the day off by taking a bus to the Cathedral in Riobamba and waiting for the kids we were going to work with and our guest speaker Luis to come. First, Luis introduced the kids to us, welcomed us to the experience we were about to have and gave us a little bit of information on what these kids do. After the mini introduction we were all split up into four groups and we al were either going to be selling candy, shoe shining, or collecting bottles. The first experience we had with the kids was asking them a few questions and sitting down to share breakfast with them.
Following that we split up and my group went to the supermarket to buy the candy that they wanted to sell today. My group also collected any bottles that we found in the streets or in the garbage. We walked to at least three different parks, a few markets, stores and just running around the streets trying to get more people to buy candy.We were also trying to find bottles in any garbage cans we seen in the streets. One thing I learned and noticed from this experience is that it is very hard not just to sell candy but to even get some people’s attention. A lot of people don’t even try to acknowledge many of the vendors or sellers in the streets and try to pretend that they don’t exist. Lastly, I learned that even though it was very tough for all of us as a group to sell candy, we all managed to keep a positive attitude and as long as they had each other they were pretty much able to find joy even when they were going through a rough time. It just shows that being a community is better than being alone and that with each other they find their ways to stay positive and happy.
What surprised me the most today is the fact that they were really able to stay positive and bring each other up at their worst moments. Their were times when one of the kids were feeling down and the others were not and they were able to make him smile and motivate him to keep going. What I am most proud of is that me and my peers saw that the kids were really happy with the help that we gave them. Also, I am very proud of making it my reality and not cheating myself out of the experience. The most inspiring person I would say that I met today is Luis. The reason why is because at the end of it all he explained how he doesn’t keep any of the money for himself and that he makes sure he saves their money so when they are actually hungry or need some more clothing he will always have that money saved up for them. The reason why it inspired me is because I think most people that help children in those situations would not be as nice as Luis and would probably ask or demand some type of profit off of their hard work and that’s what made Luis stand out to me for today.
Today being the leader of the day was a huge challenge. I enjoyed being the leader of the day but it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. To be in control or to lead of a whole group was difficult because it was hard for me to keep people’s attention and for me to be a confident leader. After a few bumps in the morning it kind of threw me off and made me feel very unsure and unprepared. In contrast I tried to remain very calm and positive about the situations at hand and just to keep the day flowing. I also feel like this was a very important life lesson, teaching me to always have confidence in myself and it shows me what I need to work on as an independent woman. Lastly one thing I learned about myself is that I shouldn’t let things get to me so easily and as a leader, never take things personal. As long as you try your best and you try to keep everything going and flowing you will have nothing to worry about.