Today was our first full day in Riobamba.   We were all happy to get some well needed sleep and rest.   We are still getting to know each other, and the group games of musical chairs, charades, cards, and karaoke helped us to bond and begin some new friendships.

The theme of the day was History and Culture.  We learned about our host city of Riobamba and examined how one’s history shapes the culture of our own identities and perspectives.   A visit to the Plaza del Toros , where we learned bull fights still occur here twice a year was followed by a competitive scavenger hunt throughout the city where students had to talk with local Riobambarros in Spanish to learn about the city.

We are so well cared for and fed by Isabel and her family at Roma Santa that I don’t know how we will ever go back to eating American food.

The students had thoughtful reflections today as they pushed out of their comfort zone in communication and diverse perspectives.

“Riobamba is its people.   The knowledge and history may be preserved in a building or statue, but the people truly understand the city in a way that a date or memorial can not tell. That being said, it is important to connect with people in order to learn their history.” (Emma Johnson).

Feast your eyes on these highlights from today…..