Today was another early day for the leaders of the day as Lucas and I (Brianna) had to wake up at 6:00 am so we could wake up everyone on time to head to breakfast at Cafe del Tren. For breakfast we ate eggs, melons, bread and drank a fruit smoothie made from guava.
After eating breakfast we took a short bus ride to a tea processing plant and farm named Jambi Kiwa. Brianna and I (Lucas) spend the entirety of the two tours translating the tour guides through the farm and the factory. As a surprise each student was given a box of tea called Té de Abuela. We all got the opportunity to learn about the impact of our purchases as we were shown how much buying a certain tea brand can affect the livelihood of an entire group of people. The people in this case were the multiple native families of Riobamba, Ecuador. One big surprise for the tours was Brianna’s inexplicable skill as a translator despite her constant denial of Spanish speaking skill. After the field trip to Jambi Kiwa, we took a bus with our bus driver Juanito to lunch at Roma Santa (our usual location). There we ate soup (AGAIN!), chicken with vegetables in a sauce all wrapped inside of a crepe.
After lunch and a quick break at the Hotel Tren Dorado we prepared for our Ecuadorian partners from Casa de la Mujer to hear our CAP project proposals. The four proposals were to patch up and paint the walls, plant a small garden in their open area, make signs, and finally a deep cleaning. One of the three women present named Ana Maria mystified us with her presence as an indigenous woman who has spent the majority of her life fighting to preserve the culture of the indigenous people and for the rights of women. The presentations went very well and all the groups got to present their ideas and receive feedback from our partners. We then went to the local high school and taught our first English class to people of various ages. We were split into eight classes to teach at multiple levels. We are understood the difficulty of teaching classes of any size. We were humbled by the experience and were taught to be flexible. We all look forward to teaching our next class and getting closer to our students.
After leaving the high school and talking about our varied experiences teaching, we walked to Roma Santa for dinner. It was chicken noodle soup and lots of empanadas. We both loved the experience of being leader of the day and we hope that the next leader of the day will have an equally good experience.