Hello Bay Area,
Today was a wonderful day filled with amazing experiences that our Glimpsers had the opportunity to try. The day started quite early for us this morning. At 6:15 am, we were all so tired from a packed day yesterday that some of us had a hard time waking up and getting ready. Today breakfast was not held at our usual accommodations but somewhere very special. We were all fortunate enough to have breakfast in Cumanda El Molino in the province of Guamote. We enjoyed hard-boiled eggs, bread with honey, cheese, milk and fresh papaya juice. It was here where we were able to meet Cesar Ayol, the President of this indigenous community. He taught us about the history of how the village came to be. He explained to us that 12 years ago this community was founded. El Molino used to be part of a bigger community but they split due to travel barriers between each community. Ayol emphasized that their community works as a whole when doing communal work. That everyone is equal and that no one family in the community has more work when working for a common goal.
After his introduction of the town/village, we separated into groups to meet the five families we would be working with throughout the morning. Everyone was both excited and nervous as they would be stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new or challenging, whether that was speaking Spanish with the locals or translating for those who did not understand Spanish. The Glimpsers were able to see how the locals of El Molino live their day to day lives attending to their live stock, families, and farm. Several of the Glimpsers were able to hoe the land for wheat and weeds, feed some animals, shovel manure to use for fertilizer, walked cows to different parts of the land, and carried grains up hill to feed a family of guinea pigs and much more. Glimpsers also used this time with the families to ask them questions about their day to day lives and what they would like to see change or improve in their community. Many of them mentioned having their communal gathering space with tables, chairs, or making it more welcoming. Many of the families also shared the hard work that goes on caring for their animals, farming, and their daily chores in general because they do not have much, but they are very grateful for what they do have.
After we are all done helping out the families, we headed to the Communal room to have some lunch with the local families we were with earlier. We had rice, potatoes, salad, beef, and pineapple juice. After lunch were were able to talk to Ayol, the president of the community, to see what they needed in their community. The Glimpsers asked questions about if they needed tables, chairs, building maintenance, etc. Ayol answered our questions and informed us that something the families needed were more of a personal matter where as he was looking to get help with communal things everyone would enjoy or use. The top things that we were able to get answered from what they needed were chairs, tables, painting the communal room, curtains or painting the soccer field, which is where the kids spend their time in the afternoon. Since all our questions were answered, we thanked Ayol for having us and for opening our vison of different lifestyles in the rural communities of Ecuador.
We loaded the bus and headed back to our accommodations here in La Primavera where we prepared for our C.A.P. two seminar to work of designing the project. It is here were we went through a best test formula to see if the projects we had in mind were feasible, if there was a need for the project, if we all had a personal passion towards the project, and if we were able to get community engagement from the families. After some deliberations, we were able to bring our list of 10 to just 4 project ideas which we would present to Ayol tomorrow in the afternoon. Since our seminar was done, we prepared for dinner which would be held at Nativa, an Ecuatorian Style restaurant, where we had a little piece of home for dinner. We had Burgers, Wings, Potatoes Wedges and Pizza. We all loved dinner tonight and were grateful for Chef Cesar and his team for the meal.
After dinner we headed back to La Primavera and had our nightly meeting and reviewed how the day went and what we learned. It was then that my time as a leader of the day came to an end, and I passed the torch to the next leader of the day, Khadija. We look forward to our fun day tomorrow at Chimborazo Mountain.
Thank you for the wonderful recap. I love that you Glimpsers are given a chance to share these posts from your perspective. The work you are doing is very important for all involved. I am excited to follow you all through the process, execution and impact.
Through these posts those of us following your journey feel a closeness to the families you are working with. Again, you are making us all proud. Keep up the good work!
I love seeing all the pictures of the students and the wonderful people they are meeting and learning about their culture, so enriching! The students are doing a fabulous job of describing their day. I look forward to reading and viewing the pictures every morning!