Today we started our English tutoring with the local students. They were shy at first and a little apprehensive but after we go to know them and learn their levels, we created a better relationship with them. [Chayse] My class was filled with all teenagers, we played an ice breaker to get to know the students names. The local students were starting to participate and ask for help a lot more after we got to know them. Throughout the day we took some notes for future improvements. The Spanish-English language barrier was the hardest part, but being a teacher was pretty nice, the kids were behaving pretty well and were genuinely excited to learn. We were all able to practice our Spanish a lot more. [Brandon] For me, it was like an epiphany, there is so much going into being a teacher, we now know all the hard work our teachers do for us and we appreciate them more 🙂  After that, we did basic exercises to see their English levels and assess what they already know.

After we finished our two hours of English lessons, we took the bus to Pucara Tambo, an indigenous community center on top of the Riobamba hills. Here, we had a traditional cleansing ceremony, a sacred space in the shape of a circle representing the months and seasons, consisting of medicinal herbs that were used in the fire pit in the middle. Each person got cleansed by the ceremonial moderator with stalks of medicinal herbs, leaves, and eggs to cleanse the bad energy out of our bodies. After this, we had a tour of the Purana peoples history and culture, the other half of us toured the gardens that contain traditional plants that heal illnesses and diseases. For lunch, we had local food which included corn, beans, potatoes, salad, cheese, corn nuts, and………….cuy a.k.a GUINEA PIG (yay!!!!!!!??). Did NOT taste like chicken, it was chewy and rough. We made sure to thank the local moderator for his cleansing ceremony and for sharing his history with us.

We had some free time in the afternoon, followed by a seminar about our English classes. We ate some dinner and had our nightly meeting. We had great conversations about the difference of cultural appropriation and appreciation. There was a lot of insight from the group and we were able to discuss topics that are very important in todays world.

We now pass the Leader del Día torch to Kate and Christine.

Big Love,

Chayse & Brandon.