Hello family and friends!

Today us Glimpsers had our second and final free day, as well as our second day of English tutoring. We started off the day with a wakeup call at 8:45 in order to rest up for the coming days which will be packed with the execution of our CAP project, along with our two remaining English lessons. We headed to breakfast where Anita and the staff prepared a light meal of bread with butter and jam, bananas, fruit, and oatmeal for us. Members of the budgeting team composed of myself, Kieran, Ariana, Josh, and Marelyn left breakfast early in order to purchase everything from our carefully curated list of supplies needed for our CAP project. With Kate’s help, we finally came to a decision regarding our choice of paint. With sustainability in mind, we opted for the highest quality paint along with a primer that will ensure that our mural will be long-lasting. Now that we had finally bought all of our paint, Kate took a truck back to Hotel Palacio while us Glimpsers were left on our own for the first time to purchase the rest of the supplies and enjoy the rest of our free time. While intimidating at first, we were finally ready to explore Guaranda on our own and were successfully able to cross the streets by ourselves. We ventured to various supply and hardware stores attempting to find the best deals for paint rollers, brushes, and tape. After making many circles around Plaza Roja, we finally found our way to the store where Kieran chose the perfect brushes for our mural. With Marelyn’s interpreting, we were able to purchase everything else that we needed.

We then enjoyed the rest of our free time by visiting various stores as well as a long awaited visit to Dulce Tomatina where we enjoyed cakes, milkshakes, and ice cream scoops. Other groups also went to the internet cafes to make calls to family and friends, as well as browse the internet.

By 2 o’clock, we were back at Hotel Palacio where we then walked to La Estancia to enjoy a meal of soup, salad, empanadas, sweet fried plantains and mango juice. Although this was our meal time, Glimpsers also utilized this time to plan our English lessons for the afternoon. After making our way back to Hotel Palacio, we rushed to place finishing touches on our lesson plans and change into our formal attire. We then walked to the school, Verbo Divino, where we reconvened with our students.

After completing our lessons, we headed back to the hotel for a seminar. Today’s seminar was Letters of Appreciation for donors who help fund scholarships and financial aid for the program. After completing our rough drafts we headed to La Estancia again to eat an American dinner of pasta, bread, and cake. Finally, we had our nightly meeting where we discussed how we would like to wrap up our time in Ecuador, as well as debriefing our English lessons. We then had a group conversation regarding the reality of the difficulties of immigration and assimilation into an English speaking world. To conclude the meeting, we overviewed the schedule for the first day of CAP, as well as our nightly ritual of a unity clap. We are looking forward to our long awaited mural project which we begin tomorrow. Keep the comments coming!

– Simone