With Chris acting as El Lider del dia, everyone knew the day was going to be a great day. Referencing Good Morning Vietnam as a wake up call at 5:45 in the morning made the early wake up just a bit more bearable than it should have been. Helping out at Canasta Communitaria Utopia was just the icing on the cake.
73 bags sorted with tomatoes, green beans, limes, Brussels sprouts, oranges, and much more we were ready for the work a head of us. At around 9 in the morning the families of Riobamba were ready to pick up their baskets filled with all kinds of fruits. While some of us were washing dishes others were weeding the garden or passing out the prepared baskets of food. Today we learned and witnessed what we mean when we say from farm to table. The family of volunteers at Canasta Communitaria Utopia meet every other Saturday each month to share breakfast and pack baskets full of farm fresh produce for the community. Those that run the market come together over three common ideals: to take the middle man out of the equation and bring fresh food directly to the people, to support and consume only non-GMO food, and to serve and leave the community better than they found it. Other than serving, we enjoyed sharing fresh fruit and dancing with our new friends.
After our morning of working like a local, we took a long stroll through El Parque Ecologico back to our hostel for much needed rest time. Many of us took naps and read books under the warm Ecuadorean sun. After lunch, we met as a group to begin the reflection process and writing letters of appreciation to the generous donors of Global Glimpse. Realizing we were already halfway through our trip was bittersweet, but many of us shared of how much this trip has impacted us already. Some shared about their first passport and others shared of not having much opportunity in their current schools, but we have all concluded that the friendships we have forged here are for a lifetime. For many of us, the relationships we have created here allow us to be vulnerable, accepting, goofy, serious, but most importantly, we have been able to just be ourselves. We’ve interacted and bonded with other teens, local families, and our trip leaders. We have climbed mountains, taught English, worked to better the community, and partake in the beautiful Ecuadorean culture. These letters shared our stories and thanked those that support the broader Global Glimpse community. If these letters are any indication of how much we have learned and grown so far on this trip, then we can only imagine what is left for the last week ahead.
We finished off the night with a surprise dinner of pizza! Although we are enjoying the diverse, fresh food here, it was great to taste a little bit of home. We were sad to be missing two of our members tonight at dinner that were feeling under the weather and are taking this as a sign to hydrate and get into bed nice and early tonight. We hope to be energized and ready to seize the day and learn more about this beautiful place tomorrow. Hasta manana!
P.S. Big love to all of our family that helped make this trip of a lifetime possible too😊