Today I decided to wake the glimpsers up early, six thirty, in order to ensure that they arrived to breakfast on time. To my surprise it worked and we were done with breakfast by 7:45; fifteen minutes earlier than scheduled. After breakfast, we played a new icebreaker called “Captain” in which we were supposed to act like pirates and run from left to right, “ship” to “shore.” Later on, we had a very thought provoking Academic Seminar in which we discussed barriers to education. As a group, we came to the conclusion that we live in a patriarchal world; Americans are predisposed to assume that men are more entitled to education then women. Due to this, women are undervalued and segregated because of their gender. We also learned that there are several other barriers to education such as race, socio-economics, and ethnicity. Ecuador has a shocking percentage of illiterate people because of the aforementioned barriers.
After the academic seminar, we took a bus trip to Andean University. This particular university was unique because its student body is made up almost entirely of indigenous people. The fact that the university is primarily composed of indigenous people made for some untraditional methods of teaching that we were unaccustomed to. We sat in a classroom that was composed of a grass bench and a tree stump serving as a table. We spent the whole time outside barefoot; we felt the plush grass beneath our feet. Later, we helped an indigenous man at the university perform a farming ritual. Part of the ritual was to give each other hugs as a way to spread positive energy. Afterwards, we all felt closer. Once we finished touring the University we got on the bus to eat lunch.
We ate lunch at Rayuela and it was amazing. Lunch was composed of breaded beef and mashed potatoes. Later, we went to the hostel and planned our English lessons. Once we finished planning our English lessons, we went to the school and taught our English classes. Afterwards, we came back to the hostel, ate dinner, had a nightly meeting and a self-reflection based on our Academic Seminar. This leads me to right now, writing this blog. Overall today has been an amazing day filled with several intellectual and spiritual moments.