Hi this is Alyssa and Kevin! We had the pleasure of being

todays Lideres del Día (Leaders of the Day/LDDs) and it was an honor. Today was day #7 (though we’re sure most of you have been keeping track), and it was all about Indigenous culture and its impact presently and throughout History.

Our fuel at the beginning of the day consisted of eggs, oats, bread, cheese,


strawberries, bananas, and tangerines. Because of the presentation of the oats and eggs I (Alyssa) made andincorrect announcements; I said that we were having pancakes and syrup, which lead some of my fellow glimpsers to pore oats all over their eggs. I swear that I heard “panqueques” which means pancakes! And the oats were in a big dish with a ladle so our obvious conclusion was syrup! We eventually corrected ourselves (mainly me) before all are friends had syrupy eggs.

My LDD partner today [Kevin] was so considerate that he planned with me to arrange to make sure that I could get in a nap during our bus ride up to Cacha. I’m a napper; I get chronic migraines and I had to bring medication on this trip but a good preventative is getting a full nights sleep; that is not always possible with our schedules. So I have been taking naps everywhere and anywhere that I could catch them, though where and when it was also appropriate. I’ve been given compliments on how well I can nap. Kevin made sure that no matter which of our two buses I was on, I would be able to nap. We decided that the bigger of the two groups would go on the big bus and the smaller group who wanted quiet would be on the small; the big bus ended up being the “party” bus all day and I got my nap—everyone was happy.

At the Cacha reserve of the Puraua we were privileged to be able to participate in a Ritual Cleansing Ceremony very early one in the tour right after the museum. The museum housed traditional clothing fore women and men, and there was also a case displaying the previous currency of Ecuador [they now use dollars]. We learnt of the meaning and uses of each piece of custom traditional clothing. The belts seemed most important—they had the most variety in styles and uses, though all could repel negative energy, though it depended fore who: children, mothers, women and men. Ms. Scheppach, Delila, and myself were able to enter the circle and me individually shown our negative energy being expelled. We had to first howl an egg over our sternums then the shaman took it and we had to blow on it tree times, after he would brush the egg over your chess, arms, upper back, and caves, then he would pore water into a glass and crack the eggs—how much of the egg white rose up was how much negative energy you had. Can any of you guess who had the least or most negative energy?

We ate a Traditional Ecuadorian meal at the reserve: Boiled potatoes, fava beans, tubers, miniature heirloom golden tomatoes, sauces; Pico de Gallo with bell peppers.

We had dinner back at Roma Santa: Pasta with potatoes, spinach, and carrots, with panades made of wheat with cheese inside, and tea.


Today was special to be an LDD for us because we got to lead our group into a culturally foreign environment and make sure they were respectful and that they were also comfortable. So many of them were so engaged and willing to participate fully—it was beautiful. Another equally beautiful moment was the break time during English Tutoring were nearly everyone was involved in a super-heatedgame of basketball with the students.

Tomorrow Ben and Kai will be our leaders for Breakfast and politics [I hope that thought doesn’t ruin any of your breakfasts]. It was a pleasure being the leaders for such a great group of students on this trip. Best of luck to Ben and Kai. From Alyssa and Kevin, buenas noches y hasta luego.