Question of the day: In what ways do you want to live or work more like the people in San Juan de Llullundongo?

Hola! Today was our longest and most strenuous day yet, but we made it! We had breakfast on the go as we rode the bus to a small community called San Juan De Llullundongo. The ride was scenic and breathtaking as usual, but our view of Chimborazo from the destination was unparalleled.

We are higher than the clouds!

Once we conquered the steep hill with the thinning oxygen at 10,489 feet above sea level (2 miles!), we met the “Angels,” two men who were both named Angel. Both men are hardworking members of their community and are motivated by the future they are trying to create. They explained the role that community and family plays in their lives. Their town comes together to do any and everything. They routinely hold town meetings to decide what project they will do next as they are always looking to create the best possible environment for their families to thrive.

Carter with the Angels!

Immediately after we set our bags down, we got to work! We used hoes to pull dirt, beat it with sticks to break up clumps, and turned the dirt with shovels. Then we got REALLY dirty. We added water to the dirt and jumped right in! We mixed and stomped the thick, mud and straw mixture with our feet for what felt like forever until finally, we were able to make our adobe bricks. We made 120 of them while having a great time together. Our big motivation was that the bricks we were building were going to provide shelter for another loving family in this beautiful community.

Helping Jalynn get out of the mud after getting stuck!

Getting the straw!

We love getting muddy!

After all our hard work, we headed to a the local nursery and ate a meal that was made with pure love. With plates full of traditional Ecuadorian food: corn, beans as well as a soup. Most of were interrupted as the smiles and laughs coming from the children outside flooded the room.

The children were so excited to see us! We played a game of “Pato, Pato, Ganso” — formerly known in English as “Duck, Duck, Goose” and then both Angels gave us a tour of the nursery as they have wives working in the kitchen and children who attend.  It was heartwarming to see where our donations will go.

The Glimpsers with the amazing children!

For me today was beautiful. The community members of San Juan de Lullundongo were appreciative of the very little they had. Some of the homes had only a thin sheer curtain separating their kitchen from their bedroom. Seeing this made me very thankful for what I have and what my mom does for me day in and day out.  Love you mom <3 ~Hannah

Today was crazy, but it was also a very fun day. To look up when I was tired, stressed, or even just lost, and see all my new friends smiling, laughing, and working hard to serve people we had just barely met warmed my heart and encouraged me to keep going. The love and kindness the community members showed us without hesitation touched my heart and is most definitely something I will carry forever.

“It takes a village to raise a child, but that’s not the only thing that it’s good for. The love, security, and extra family a village provides for every member, cannot be replicated or replaced” ~Micah Ingram, as she co-wrote this blog 🙂