Hello dear friends and family:

We have had our first full day in Ecuador. Wohoooo! We finally got to see our new home for the next 15 days “Riobamba” and on our way there we got to see the beautiful landscapes from the Andes mountains. We arrived to Riobamba around noon and after we unloaded the suitcases from the bus, we got to explore Hotel Tren Dorado, which has beautiful common areas and a very welcoming staff. After a quick break to freshen up, we went to Roma Santa Restaurant where we had our first Ecuadorian meal. Isabel, who is the owner of the restaurant, was very nice and her son Nelson immediately bonded with some of our Glimpsers.

After lunch we went over two seminars: Welcome to Ecuador and Leader of the Day. Both were pretty interesting, and we got to know each other better. At 4pm we went outside, and we ran into a big surprise. A fun dance class was waiting for us. We learned about typical Ecuadorian dances and we had the chance to wear typical costumes. We had a blast with all the dancers from the “Renovación” dance group. They were very polite and we were able to simulate an Inti Raymi (Sun Party) Celebration. We all made a big circle and got our first taste of Ecuador’s dance culture. One of our Glimpsers even had the chance to be a “Diablo Huma” which is a typical character in Ecuador and is seen in many celebrations.

After our fun dance class we went back to the Hotel and had a break of 30 minutes. At 6:15pm we got all together again at the conference room and we met the owner of our hotel: Doña María. She was pretty welcoming and shared with us some important rules and tips about the hotel and its facilities.

We finally went back to Roma Santa for dinner and had our first nightly meeting. We shared our “Big Loves” and we ended the day with a “Unity Clap.”

After a tiring journey, the delicious meal and dance class reenergized everyone! Everyone is feeling pretty excited and we are ready to see new places and meet more people. Tomorrow we take a tour of the city and do a scavenger hunt to learn more about Riobamba’s rich history and significance to Ecuador’s development. The student LDD will be posting on this blog every night to keep family and friends up to date with our adventures!

Hasta pronto,

Ana y Jerry