Kawsankichu mashi (Hello friends in Kichwa),

We are Zack Pakin and Kate Macaulay, the leaders of today’s free day! Our day started with a generous 7:30 wake-up call followed by yet another delicious and traditional meal at our host restaurant, Feroz. After we filled up on melon juice and breakfast rolls, Glimpser groups dispersed across Guaranda for free time. Our fellow Glimpsers Cassie, Kaia, Tanveer, and Mari volunteered to spend the majority of their free time gathering materials for our upcoming CAP (Community Action Project) with representatives from La Fundación Bethesda.

Remaining Glimpsers ran off to explore local cuisine, shopping, and culture. Together we dug deep to answer the question of what Guarandan youth do in their free time compared to American teenagers. Though there were many similarities, such as binge watching YouTube videos or shopping with friends, Glimpsers discovered that there is a larger focus on tight-knit friendships than the trends of social media and technology.

We returned to Hotel Palacio Real after a tasty lunch at Feroz to participate in an energizer to promote group cohesion in a fun environment. We had so much fun that we completely lost track of time, forcing a quick transition into our next, much more serious activity, Letters of Appreciation. During the seminar, we created small, but heartfelt tokens of our gratitude towards Global Glimpse staff, donors, and supporters.

Today marked the last day of English Tutoring at Verbo Divino, something that was very hard for many of us Glimpsers. Groups planned activities, games, and competitions to make the final class special for the students we had gotten so close to after such a short amount of time. As usual, the session flew by, forcing us to say our goodbyes to our new Ecuadorian friends. The group then walked to Feroz for a traditional dinner of soup, chicken, rice, and tea.

After we ate dinner, we returned to the hotel for a thought-provoking nightly reflection meeting focusing greatly on inclusivity and cohesion of our delegation. A very serious discussion was followed by an amazing party that we organized to celebrate our hard work (with a special focus on the three birthdays that occur during the trip). The night was filled with memories of home, as we purchased freshly made pizza and Oreo cake, along with hot chocolate and ice cream. The party was marked by dancing and smiles. Since we have an early wake-up call tomorrow morning, we quickly cleaned up the party and went to our rooms.

Buenas Noches y Hasta Pronto,
Zack and Kate