Good Evening:

Today was politics day, a very important interest of Raymond and I, Anderson. Wake up was at 6:30 followed by  breakfast was at 7:15. For breakfast we had fried Yucca and fresh fruit. After breakfast we had an academic seminar analyzing and discussing politics. We got into an insightful debate about whether President Correa is a good leader or not and used a news article as evidence.

Hey, it’s Raymond now. We met a man today at Parque Maldonaldo who told us the Mayan story of creation. According to them, the gods created humans with blinders over the eyes. This allows us only to care about our own path, being restricted from looking or caring about others. In order to remedy this dilemma, we all participated in an excersise in which we walked around in a circle making eye contact with each other. As our blinders were shed, there was a sense of empathy that spread throughout the group. Eventually, we all paired up and looked each other deeply in the eyes with a reminder that every person has had good times and bad times, and to feel that connection each and every one of us shares. Afterwards, we shared hugs with one another and let the good vibes roll.

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Back to Anderson. Another part of the task was to ask strangers what do they think of Riobamba while looking straight into their eyes as they answered the question. The point is to get the answer not by hearling them but looking into their eyes Being a New Yorker I feel as if it is inappropriate to look people in their eyes in fear that it might cause conflict. Doing this activity I felt more conncected to the people I was talking to by doing one simple trick.

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A highlight of the day was meeting the mayor of Riobamba at City Hall. Thanks to Fernanda for making it happen. First the President of Ecuador and now the mayor.

It’s Raymond again. We went to the Museum of the City, or Museo de la Ciudad, today as well. We heard some background about it while walking up it’s old victorian staircase. Supposedly, the museum used to be a manor inhabited by a wealthy Riobamban. They say her spirit still haunts the building; some of our GGer’s even felt her presence. Aside from the apparent spirit roaming the halls, the museum was enthralling in itself. All of the art was made by local Riobamban artists that showed the soul of the city. One of the pieces depicted native Amazonians with modern American materials such as Beats headphones and a barbie doll. This is a reaction to the oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest and the American money and culture it brought to the Amazonian people. After countless other pieces and arwork, we decicded to head downstairs and go to our favorite lunch spot. To our suprise and good fortune, they were hosting a party to celebrate the new alliance between the museum and the tourism board. We were cheerfully welcomed by the mayor himself and had a few hors’douveres before we left; a lucky few even got to try some cuy.

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Hey it’s Anderson. Lunch consisted of a delicous meatloaf and after we went next door for icecream. We went back to the hostel for CAP seminar prep. The group was split into three. One group buying the supplies, one preparing the CAP seminar proposal and the other working transcribing the audio for the historia project.

The group that I was in was the CAP seminar proposal. We worked on finalizing the sketches for the park and trash project. Also we started to write our proposal to present to the leaders of Pusca August, 7th

Hi once again, it’s Raymond. Myself and a couple others went to buy supplies for our CAP projects. These supplies consisted entirely of metal and paint, so there was no better place to go than a metal workshop. Our resident bus driver took us to help help buy all these supplies. Once, we got these large hunks of metal and pipes, we transported them back to our bus drivers house. The reason being is that he is also our resident welder. Throughout the week towards CAP day, he will be assembling the structures we need for our projects. A perk of being in this group is that he showed us up to the roof of the house he practically built himself where we were presented by a breathtaking sight. A picture perfect view of Chimborazo was waiting to greet us. We left with the sense that the world is much larger than we could have possibly imagined.

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They’re telling me to wrap it up so I’ll get to the last important part of the day. The end of our nightly meeting was after a whole bunch of big loves told throughout the group. We had one last time of good vibes with another round of hugs.

Best,

Ray and Anderson

I have one shoutout request tonight from Ty. He’s wants to shoutout for his mom, dad, and Babygirl Jade.

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