Today my fellow glimpsers and I had the opportunity to explore Riobamba on our own using maps, general knowledge, and teamwork to navigate our new home.  We started the day by getting some extra sleep and headed out to breakfast at Cafe del Tren.  After arriving back to the hostel out Global Glimpse Leaders allowed us to go out in groups of four or more and explore the city.  My group and I, composed of Kierra, Amy, and Chloe, went out with our hostel’s manager Maria to find some of the best shops.  She walked us around and tried her best to take us to where we wanted to go.  During our walk Maria spoke to us about her life and what she does, and what her first experience in new York was like.  Although we come from such different areas of the world we both understand the necessity of being street smart when it comes to the city life.  One of the most interesting places she took us was a supermarket, the isles were a tight squeeze and the store crowded but we still ended up buying plenty of Latin American Snacks.  After the supermarket we headed to an open air market to buy some handmade gifts for our family and friends.P1020487

P1020486 The boys of RB2C got together with the boys from RB1C to play basketball at a nearby park.  After RB2C, Daniel, Stanley, Gianni, Youssouf, Hugo, and Sedeq, went to the Train to pick up the boys from RB1C they walked to the park.  At the park, an intense game of basketball went down.  Youssouf was kind enough to provide me with a wonderful and detailed commentary, that follows.

“Today’s game was a game for the ages as RB1 took on RB2.  the game started very slowly for RB2 as RB1 got of to a 7-1 lead.  But RB2 was able to tie the game up at seven a piece but that didn’t last for long as RB1 took a 9-7 lead.  then everything changed as Daniel took a charge causing momentum to shift over from the RB1 side to RB2.  Youssouf hit five shots in a row as he cought fire to give RB2 a 12-9 leaf. Stanly and HQ (Hugo) were able to get two back to back steals and give RB2 the ball back.  That was followed by the highlight of the day as Gianni Diaz levetated in the air for multiple seconds and scored the 15th point.  The came came to an end as Youssouf Camara hit the game winning shot for the 16-13 RB2 win.”

After the eventful game the group split off to some shops and then back to the hostel.  Once lunch was finished everyone was excited to get back out continuing their early morning adventures.  Our Glimpsers split off into three groups, two of which headed to internet cafes to come into contact with loved ones and the well-missed internet. A few of our members took the opportunity to try some Ecuadorian coffee, and the reviews seemed to be five stars across the board, much better than the coffee back home.P1020500 P1020496

Once our second adventure was over we all headed back to the hostel to plan for our final English lesson, but despite the fun day we had already had, the morale was low.  We were all missing home a bit but luckily once we got to our English class we remembered why we are here and how great it is that we are. It’s such an incredible opportunity that we have to be here helping people of the community and discovering new cultures. After our third English lesson was over we headed over to dinner where Isabel, the owner of our regular lunch and dinner restaurant, gave us a short dance lesson after we had eaten, and shared some delicious blackberry juice for dessert.

Finally we headed in for the night, and to our wonderful surprise when we got back to the hostel Maria had bracelets for us, with the same three colors as the Ecuadorian flag.  She spoke to us about how we are like her children and she loves to have us in her hostel, and even called Yousouf her Hero for helping her out earlier in the week.  Shortly after that it was time for us to go to bed as we have an early and strenuous day ahead of us.