image image image image image image imageIn the United States, we lead drastically different lives than we would if we lived in rural Ecuador. Specifically, in the community of El Molino right near Guamote, one of the poorest cities in Ecuador. Today, as part of our second Reality Challenge, we ‘Lived like Locals’ with Cesar Ayol and his family. They opened up their home to us, and allowed us to take part in their daily activities. These daily activities involved picking corn in the fields, and preparing that day’s lunch for our fellow Glimpsers and Cesar’s family. In order to truly immerse ourselves into the experience of how locals in Ecuador live, we began our day with a typical local’s breakfast on the bus to El Molino. We zig-zaged through the mountains and, at some points, we did some off road driving; all thanks to our amazing bus driver Juanito! When we arrived to the farm, we were split into two groups. One group was working in the fields with Cesar, while others worked in the kitchen with Cesar’s daughters, Carmen and Zoila. After 3 hours of hard labor, we devoured trout, potatoes, salad, and FINALLY we got to try Cuy (Guinea Pig)!! The Cuy vaguely tasted like chicken. Once we thanked Cesar and his family for welcoming us into his home and for opening our eyes to a new reality, we returned to our Riobamba reality. We taught our fourth English Tutoring session. Once that had been done, we enjoyed a marvelous dinner prepared by our very own Isabel and her wonderful staff at the best restaurant in Ecuador, La Roma Santa! We all learned a ton about how regular locals live their day-to-day lives. From not being able to use any electronics whatsoever, to reflecting upon the fact that even those without as many privileges and belongings as we have in the United States, we saw life through a new lens. We ended our day with our usual nightly meeting, but also, with a new sense of appreciation and gratitude. Our final conversation for the night? What does happiness mean to you. As you read this, we hope you share that same gratitude and appreciation that we have learned today to remember what you’re grateful for.
Kushi kushi kan! (“I am happy”, in Kichwa!)

Personal Shoutout to The West Family and friends. I miss and love you very much. I am having a fantastic time. I am learning a lot and immersing myself into this culture as best as I can. I will see you soon <3 <3
Personal Shoutout to the Itzkow’s! Mom, add Guinea pig and worms to the list of things I ate, but probably shouldn’t have. I miss you guys, and can’t wait to show you all the pictures I have! Vic, keep up my snap streaks, thanks!