Our second day of working on our Community Action Project began with a 6:45 wake up call and a nice prank from the boys. After much laughter, everyone made their way to breakfast where they were forced to do 10 jumping jacks for every minute they were late. Fresh rolls and pineapple jam gave the group a sweet start to the day. After breakfast, we headed to the soccer field for some invigorating Energizers. Lots of screaming later, we were ready to hit the road.
We arrived at Casa de la Mujer around 8:45 and immediately got to work. Unfortunately, the majority of our supplies were locked up, but we made the best of the situation and made do with what we had. After our lovely partner, Azucena, unlocked the doors for us, everyone began their respective jobs. With Johanna, Norma, Neelyn, Mary, Carling, Dani, and Andy painting the walls a salmon pink, Chris helping a local construct a brick wall, Danielle, Michelle, Laura, and Bryan painting the columns in the market, Carson, Pete, Jaylen, Ana, and Janea cleaning the floors, and the two of us shopping for more supplies, the project really started to pick up speed. After hanging musical Christmas lights in the rafters, we headed to Nativa for a much needed lunch.
Our meal consisted of a warm vegetable soup that went great with a squeeze of fresh lime, fried plantains, and a yummy fish entrée. Everyone enjoyed their meal and we even had some group members finish their entire lunch for the first time. Dessert was “queso de piña”, which was really just pineapple jello with whipped cream on top (Brian’s first time eating jello in 15 years)! After our bellies were full, we hopped back on the bus to finish our work at Casa de la Mujer.
Once everyone had settled back into their respective tasks, things really got moving. The artists of the group beautified the freshly painted white fountain with the help of some kids from the community, and the rest of the group worked hard to finish up the paint jobs and the cleaning. We (the leaders and Fernanda) went out to get snacks for the celebration later that day. When we came back, the job was almost finished and we just had to add a few finishing touches before the project was complete. We ended by putting our handprints on the wall (which resulted in a paint war that left some of us covered from head to toe). Everyone was satisfied with the work we had done, so we left for the park to debrief the project.
After a nice tour from one of the locals, we reflected on our work as a team and as individuals. Needless to say, everyone was proud of the final product. Following our reflection, we had some special guests give us an astonishing parkour show, accompanied by some much deserved sweets. After the performance, we joined in on the fun and started doing some parkour of our own. Sadly, we had to leave pretty soon after in order to catch the bus back to the hostel. Back home, we all enjoyed some relaxing free time before dinner.
The meal was bittersweet, as it was our last dinner at La Primavera. We finished our debrief of the CAP project and enjoyed some delicious beef noodles and pineapple dessert. After dinner, we had some free time (where more pranks were pulled) before it was time form the nightly meeting. Carling and Danielle did some wonderful impersonations of the group, which earned them the right to the llama. Everyone was exhausted from the day’s work, so we all took it slow for the rest of the night to get ready for our last full day in Riobamba.