We woke up around 7am today to get ready for breakfast. Everyone was on time which I was happy about because during last night’s Nightly Meeting, we talked about how the group had to work on punctuality. After our meal, we headed back to the hotel to talk about our mental warm up. Based on our readings, we learned that “there are less schools and universities in rural zones” and “many rural residents choose to become economic migrants because they are unable to pursue higher education” (Global Glimpse workbook). With this in mind, we had to apply the information that we received from our workbooks to the workshop that we had in the afternoon with Katty Arguto, an English teacher in Riobamba, Ecuador. But before the mental warm up, I was astonished by the Global Glimpse Leaders and Program Coordinators with a decorated conference room due to it being my birthday today; which made me feel at home.

After our mental warm up, the group prepped for the Carlos Garbay Farm trip where we went to a community farm which caters to students who have disabilities such as mental illnesses, handicapped, etc. The farm consisted with multiple crops such as corn, nectarines, lemon grass, etc. Furthermore, the farm nurtures animals such as guinea pigs, cows, and rabbits. Then, we sat down under a gazebo where we discussed potential ideas for projects that we can do during our upcoming Community Action Project. Something that I found efficacious with the group was that, Spanish-speaking students help non-Spanish speaking students with translating their questions and answers to the people who ran the farm.

For lunch, we had corn soup as an appetizer, fried fish, plantains, and rice for entrée, and for dessert, we had churros. After our flavorsome lunch, we went back to the hotel to have free time but we chose to use it wisely by working on our upcoming tutoring sessions that start next week. Later in the day, Steven, one of the Global Glimpse Leaders, told me that I had an additional “leadership meeting” where it turned out, I was surprised with a traditional Ecuadorian piñata; it was filled with chocolate that I later on shared with everyone.

Afterwards, we went to dinner at Nativa’s where I once again was surprised this time by Cesar and his staff with decorations and an exquisite traditional birthday cake. After I extinguished my candles, I told the delegation that the day meant a lot to me because I got to spend it with wonderful people who made it memorable. Also, it was nice spending my birthday in a new environment with heartwarming company. Following the dinner, we began our Nightly Meeting where we contributed our input about how students in the United States need to value the education that we are provided with. Going back to our talk with Katty Arguto, she revealed to us that the average income of an Ecuadorian is approximately $300 a month while tuition for private universities range from $1,000-3,000 per semester, depending on the school. We were fed with crucial, statistical information during Katty’s presentation that we can bring home to our designated places. Overall, today was an eye-opening experience that we will all carry with us.