Hi Glimpsers (and Families)!

Me, hanging out in Red Square last month during Spring Break.

I’m one of your Global Glimpse Leaders (GGL) this year and I’m very excited to travel to Riobamba, Ecuador with you next week! My Co-GGLs and I are in the process of reaching out to each of you via phone, and are excited to get to meet you all in person soon! If you have not connected with one of us by this weekend, please double check your voicemails to ensure you didn’t miss our calls. If you haven’t received a message, please reply to the email I sent from us a few weeks ago and alert me that we have an incorrect phone number.

I wanted to use our shared blog to provide you with a little information about myself and give you some insight on why I continue to choose to be a part of Global Glimpse! I’m a teacher at Dougherty Valley High School in San Ramon where I have also coached Water Polo and Swim. I grew up in Martinez and went to University of California, Santa Barbara for undergrad and California State University, East Bay for grad school. Upon graduating from Santa Barbara, I had what I consider to be my first formative travel experience– I backpacked through Europe for two months with some friends and explored 14 cities in 11 countries. Being exposed to so many people, cultures, and traditions was humbling, as for the first time I realized how incomplete my understanding of the world truly is. That particular vacation was obviously very different than our upcoming trip to Ecuador, but part of my continued desire to be part of Global Glimpse stems from that feeling of wanting to learn more and develop a broader perspective of our global community. With Global Glimpse, I was able to visit Esteli, Nicaragua in 2017 and San Cristobal, Dominican Republic in 2016. Both were amazing trips that pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me grow as an individual, teacher, and global citizen.

Based on my experience with Global Glimpse and some research on Riobamba, I have a couple of tips for you as you’re preparing to go:

  • Bring layers. It looks like we’ll be warm sometimes, but mostly cold and colder.
  • Don’t forget shoes that you’re willing to get wet and muddy.
  • Our Community Action Project (CAP) will likely involve some element of physical labor, so bring work gloves if that’s something you’re going to want to use.
  • If you’re worried about getting homesick, bring some photos or mementos with you and be sure to share this blog link with your family and friends (and ask them to comment!). We’ll be updating this regularly while in-country and reading the comments as a group.
  • Most importantly, come with an open mind and positive attitude. You will get out of this trip what you put into it—nothing more and nothing less. This experience is intentionally challenging, and it is essential that you unabashedly put yourself out there and allow yourself to grow.

I look forward to seeing everyone at the United desk in the Domestic Terminal 3 at SFO at 6:21 am on June 6th!

Big Love,

Cyndi Oji

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