My name is Alyson Payan and I was the GG leader of the day today! Today in Global Glimpse was a free day!

Since today was a free day, wakeup call was one hour later than normal which we all loved. I, unfortunately, had to wake up 30 minutes before the wakeup call because I was in charge of waking everyone else up. Waking up everyone else was really challenging for me since many people didn’t want to wake up and be out in the lobby on time and I wasn’t used to my role as LDD yet. I did manage to wake everyone up and get everyone to breakfast on time which made me really proud.

We ate breakfast at Roma Santa (we also eat lunch and dinner there) which is a buffet style restaurant. Our sweet “mom” named Isabel is the one that always cooks us delicious food. Before eating, I had to translate Isabel’s Spanish to English. I did a really good job with it because I am fluent in Spanish and was happy to help my other glimpses. It’s important to translate so that everyone knows what there is for every meal. On today’s menu we had yogurt, cereal, empanadas, and strawberries. For lunch we had pork chops, rice, salad, juice, and more. For dinner we had soft shell tacos, guacamole, tea and juice. It was all very delicious and after every meal, we always give thanks to Isabel for blessing us with another amazing meal.

After breakfast, the group headed back to the hotel and get their belongings such as money, water bottles, and more. I always do a head count to check if everyone is present and then we begin our free time outside. Today we walked around the Riobamba streets to Plaza Roja and many other stores around the area. If you don’t know what Plaza Rojas is, it is a wide space surrounded by mini shops in which you can buy souvenirs. We spent our time there for about two hours and then moved on to another market over by the train station. In Plaza Roja, many of us ordered name bracelets (we filled about 3 pages of names), purses, watches, wallets, and ponchos. I am really grateful for the women for being so committed to creating the name bracelets. She had a huge order but she had the ability to finish it earlier than we thought. Some us learned how to haggle and over all we were excited to buy not just because we love our new things (and your new things too families!) but because we knew that this was a lot of money for many of these sellers. We were happy to support them. Everything we bought was made in Ecuador. The other main thing we bought were MANY watches so hopefully we’ll be on time for the next leader. This experience really made me step up because I had to keep everyone together as a group, make sure everyone was safe while crossing the streets and stay hydrated.

For the second half of the day after lunch, we spent about four hours or so of more free time. We divided into two groups and went to places such as the internet café and supermercados. In the internet café some of us went to call our parents and talk. When I talked to my mom after such a long time, a happy feeling came inside me. I was super happy hearing her voice and it literally made my day so much better. I know my fellow global glimmers felt the same. We miss you all but are having an amazing time. After everyone talked to their parents, we headed to Plaza Rojas to get our bracelets and do more shopping. What really made me happy was the the fact that everyone had a smile on their face while purchasing things for their families.

To conclude, today taught me a lot of things. You might think, “a free day is easy to handle” but in reality, it was a very big responsibility. I learned to not only take care of myself during this day of freedom, but everyone else too. Keeping track of everything and everyone and being on schedule was really hard for me. I did manage all of it which made me really happy. I am grateful for all the adults in the GG program who helped out. I am proud to be called leader of the day today, and I will always have this experience in me always. I will use today as a way to reflect on things and to do better in the future. I’m happy for Trista to take over tomorrow for Global Business but really, we all already can’t wait till the next free day!!

Love from Riobamba



P.s. from the GGLs

Sorry for the real lack of pictures today. We had so much fun with the kids we never took out our phones! We’ll do better next free day we promise