Dear Beloved Parents,

After waking up, we ate breakfast at Don Carlos, consisting of eggs, bread and cantaloupe. Eating simple allowed everyone to get a good and delicious breakfast before heading to CDI (child development center, which is a type of preschool). At CDI we painted murals in the music room, nursery and kitchen. Painting the walls allows the school to have a more inviting environment. Also a group was helping in the garden planting flowers and other plants, while doing so they were digging and discovered salt water under the soil because the land used to be a mangrove forest. This can be a problem, but they are hoping crops such as vegetables and fruits can grow without much help. Here at CDI many students of our group created great connections with the Eco Club students, and we had a mini paint war towards the end. Talking and connecting with the students is a great take-away from this trip. Hopefully those connections continue after our trip! 

After finishing the murals and gardening beds, we headed back to our hostel in a public bus, where it was incredibly hot . We also visited the Sathya Sai elementary school, where we did a culture workshop and the worked in the garden. In the garden we planted new sprouts and started a flower fence. Everyone was working together in groups of three, mixing soil, building trenches and planting the peregrina. Peregrina is a plant that grows like a wall once many are planted together, and it looks similar to this:🌺! Working with the soil, we all had mud on our hands, ants crawling on our backs, and sweat dripping on our clothing. We may have been dirty and smelly, but we had a good time with the Eco Club students and our leaders! 

Finishing the day, we walked down to the beach where we enjoyed the gorgeous sunset. There was also a full rainbow for a little bit, making it hard to decide which beautiful thing to look at. The ocean was warm and the sky was picturesque. Everyone was enjoying the water, playing volleyball and jumping the waves, these little things will be some of the great memories from this trip. We can all say we have seen an Ecuadorian sunset at the beach. The second-to-last thing we did was go have another great meal at Don Carlos’s, “papas enrollados” made of potatoes, rice and chicken! Every plate was empty, which made Don Carlos very happy to know we enjoy his food. We did our daily nighttime check-in, which was very insightful. We talked about the culture of this amazing city, the people surrounding us and new experiences we have had. So far this trip is great and going by real fast, most of us are sad to see the week go by…

Buenas Noches a todos! 

Annie, Leslie, and Avery

P.S. Happy 21st birthday Bryant! Miss you so much hope you had a great day

-Colleen ❤️