After a rambunctious start at 7 am, us Glimpsers headed over to our usual dining area, Nativa. Caesar welcomed us with some traditional American cuisine, pancakes with strawberry syrup paired with an Ecuadorian banana milkshake also known as licuado (yum!). Following our delicious meal, we packed our masks and lunches and began the journey to Reyna Paccha to finish the projects we started on Thursday. Everyone naturally returned to their positions, from painting the rooftop into a beautiful play area with games like hopscotch and foursquare to leveling out the area for a small a garden. Meanwhile, others were completing the painting in the classrooms downstairs. While down there, I (Zilah) enjoyed a throwback playlist and painting with fellow Glimpsers, similar to our many jam out sessions that we have on the bus. #KodalineIsEverything
We were rewarded with a hearty lunch prepared by Caesar (#theGOAT) after a long morning of work.As we sat in the freshly cut grass, smiling and eating our subs, we were given the privilege to engage in an enriching conversation with the locals, all in Spanish of course. Glimpsers were questioned about stereotypes regarding our home, Los Estados Unidos, which were quickly debunked in a thoughtful manner, along with the differences between Ecuadorian and American culture.A striking difference was the subs and potato chips we ate versus the freshly picked fava beans they munched on. Being the gracious chef that he is, Caesar prepared extra sandwiches for the community members. In return, they shared fava beans and papas. As our lunch break came to a close, the locals finalized the conversation by explaining how common it is for them to get together as a community for a shared cause, like the CAP.
The finale of our Community Action Project was officially near, with brooms sweeping over excess dust and final touches being made on our creations. We gathered as a united community around the newly completed rooftop play area; it was time for thank you and farewells. As leaders of the day, we were extended the opportunity to present our gratitude on behalf of the group. We brought forth scarves with the Global Glimpse logo stitched on them. The recipients were Marlene (the head of the school), Pablo, (a selfless community member) and an involved parent; who all played huge roles in CAP.
Following our final goodbyes, we boarded the bus for a bumpy ride back to our temporary home, the Mashany, in the heart of Riobamba. Glimpers anxiously tapped their feet and exchanged excited glances with peers, waiting for free time to explore bustling Plaza Roja. It’s been a long week of hard work, so this was a most anticipated time to break away from our tight schedule and explore independently. Nonetheless, the day was an exceptional closing to the long awaited CAP that went on for three days straight. Overall, CAP was a rewarding experience in which we pushed ourselves ways that most of us weren’t used to while making the labor fun and connecting with local Ecuadorians in aiding to close the cultural gap between our societies.
Zilah Harris – North Lawndale College Prep
Annie Wegh – Deerfield High School