Hey!! It’s Sarah and Jude and today was Working like a Local day. Today was a pretty hectic day to say the least. This morning we woke up at 5:30am because it was our first English tutoring session. After breakfast, we left La Primavera to Kopling, the school we will be teaching at for the next three days, to start our first class. After figuring out class sizes we were split up into groups of 4 or 5 with 5 kids around our age in the class. During the class GGLs and our new consultant Emily helped us translate if necessary. After the session we went back to La Primavera only for a short time to change out of “business casual” into “farm chic”. We left La Primavera to go to a farm 30 minutes away. We were straight put to work by Jaime, the farm owner, who was eager to have us experience a fraction of his work. We did many laborious activities, some better than others, such as: turning potato seeds, bagging manure, and the messiest, spreading it across a large field with our hands. We were all hands on deck even our favorite bus driver Don Fernando, who didn’t need to participate, joined us and really motivated us to push harder even though it was hard work. We had lunch there and after we went back to the hostel to prepare for our CAP (Community Action Project) presentations and most importantly, shower. We got to present all our ideas to Principle Merly of another school that we are working with. After a very successful presentation and all of us excited, we all had some free time, finally, and ate dinner.
The thing that stood out most today was definitely the work we did on the farm. We got to experience firsthand on how consumer goods grow from the root up. It was an incredibly humbling and eye-opening experience to get on your hands and knees and do labor intensive work. Many of us had this awakening because the mass consumerism that sees products such as food and clothes at the touch of our fingers in the United States. We take for granted how hard people work for the food on our plate and here, in Ecuador, we see the value of hard work and the gratification that comes with it. Jaime told us that we helped him with a job that would take him 5 days and that really impacted us and made all the hard work worth it.
Our key takeaways as glimpsers today was the appreciation of teamwork as well as leadership. Our delegation today really picked each other up when one of us was feeling sick or tired, and that was super present today because of the stress all of us were put under today. Throughout this trip our group has had the time to learn about each other and the values of Ecuadorian customs and livelihoods. Every night we have dinner together and this is not only a time to eat, but a time to sit down and appreciate a nice meal and bond. These meaningful moments only became more present to us today as LLDs. We felt an immense amount of respect and teamwork as leaders and that was reciprocated to the group as well. Lastly, to our parents we are alive and well and having so much fun.
Sarah and Jude