As the Leadership Coach I am the first Lider del Dia (leader of the day). I would like to begin by saying that parents and guardians you should be proud of your children! I am super impressed with their ability to show up and be as present and involved as possible to not miss anything despite the exhaustion level.
So we began the day on 4-5 hours of sleep by waking at 5:30 am and loading up on the bus for a 4.5 hour bus ride to Riobamba. Some slept, some were fighting car sickness as we were climbing up and down the mountains. The view was amazing which made it difficult to choose to sleep. Although, for the most part we all napped a little.
After arriving to our new home for the next 15 days, we dropped our bags in our rooms and had a safety and culture orientation and seminar. La Primavera is amazing, the staff are super kind, the food is incredible, and the outside is gorgeous. Following a super yummy lunch and then a quick mental warm up about the history of Riobamba we took a 15 minute bus ride (private) downtown to see some of the amazing historical sites. In particular the students were most impressed by the great Pedro Vincent Malondado- so much so that Malondado was our Unity Clap word. The train station, the high school, the cathedral, the fountain and all the architecture downtown was impressive. In particular the indigenous influences on El Cathedral stone work was great to see how art and resistance are so important in preserving important stories from history.
Ecuadorian flavors as options for ice cream ended our city tour and then we came home for another seminar- Lider del Dia- so I could pass the torch to the first 2 students. Everyone signed up for the date they wanted, and then we had a yummy dinner, our first successful nightly meeting and self-reflection and then finally time to unpack, shower, and collapse into bed.
Unfortunately, we still haven’t figured out how to upload photos yet, as we are having technical difficulties… but stay tuned and check back in a day or two and we will add photos to these past posts.