Hey everyone! It’s Justin and Madi; we are today’s Líderes del Día. And today was our free day! We got to explore Guaranda today with our Global Glimpse Leaders and it was our first day to have more freedom to just have fun with less structure. Our question of the day was, “What have you learned in Ecuador in these past days?” This questions was more a of a reflection of what we learned so far, instead of another deep analytical question. Our quote of the day is, “Life is what happens to you, while your busy making other plans,” – John Lennon. This quote was meant to inspire our group to encapsulate the three C’s. It took courage to take chances on new experiences and food. The second C is Compassion; we had to be there for each other and be a shoulder to lean on since and can be emotional for some people to call home for the first time. The final C is commitment; although today was a free day we had to still make sure to listen to our Global Glimpse Leaders, be on time to the meals and stay close to their group. Today we split into three groups: one group went on a walking tour, another went on an eating tour and the last played soccer after watching the World Cup game between Mexico and Brazil. The walking group was able to take a beautiful picture of the cemetery at the top of the city featuring Chimborazo (our next destination).

We started the day with a delicious breakfast at Feroz featuring bread, eggs, papaya, and apples. Everyone, even the vegan, has been well fed by our kind food providers. After breakfast, we split into our groups and embarked on an adventure in Guaranda during Free Time. The eating tour group, led by Global Glimpse Leader, Denise, found scrumptious snacks hidden in the markets of the city like the Ecuadorian version of Hostess cupcakes. The walking tour group traveled all across the city from a children’s playground to a shopping mall and a fresh food market. On their way, they met a cute dog (whom no one touched) that was named Ralph. The soccer playing group dealt with Mexico’s loss to Brazil by cooling off with their own game in a small soccer cancha with a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. Both the soccer and eating groups had an opportunity to call home at internet cafes, but the walking group unfortunately did not have time. However, everyone is well and content so parents do not need to worry.

After lunch at Feroz and an hour of preparing for our first English tutoring lesson, the moment finally arrived! The moment we have all been anticipating: the day the students had to become teachers. We had been planning for three days, but there were still some unexpected class roster and room changes to deal with at the last minute. However, with our quick wit, we were all able to overcome the unforeseen complications with English tutoring and be flexible. We were able to push beyond our limits and achieve a new level of greatness. One of the advanced groups taught their students key medical terms with the game twenty questions. Another group was able to energize their room with an amazing Frisbee questionnaire.

Shout out to Jan for pulling aside a lively kid and helping him one on one!

Shout out to Shireen for her strong teacher presence and translating in lieu of native Spanish speakers.

Shout out to our Global Glimpse Leaders for being awesome!

Shout out to Flora for dedicating her time and energy to making an elaborate plan to teach her students verb tenses!

We went straight to Feroz after our 2-hour lesson where we were served a delicious dinner of vegetables, spinach rice, and beef stew, with soy sausages for the vegetarians. We came back to Hotel Palacio Real for an hour of English tutoring preparation and a laughter-filled Nightly Meeting to finish the night up before a packed day tomorrow. Check in soon for another update from Guaranda 2B!

P.S. I’m having fun, meeting new people and learning about the vast culture of Ecuador – Justin

P.P.S. Everything is fine for me so don’t worry, fam (I have soy products to eat). Sorry for not calling you – Madi

P.P.P.S. If you are wondering about tonight’s blog title, “¡de ley!” is a common phrase in Ecuadorian Spanish used to affirm or emphasize what another person is saying. It literally means “of the law” but it is used as slang in conversation for emphasis. Each day we learn a few new Spanish and Kichwa phrase that relate to what we are doing that day!