Hello dear friends and family:

We have had our first full day in Ecuador. Wohoooo! We finally got to see our new home for the next 15 days “Riobamba” and on our way there we got to see the beautiful landscapes from the Andes mountains and we had the chance to spot at least three volcanoes. We arrived at Riobamba around noon and after we unloaded the suitcases from the bus, we got to explore Hotel Tren Dorado, which has beautiful common areas and very welcoming staff. After a quick break to freshen up, we went to Roma Santa Restaurant where we ate delicious traditional Ecuadorian food. Isabel, who is the owner of the restaurant, was nice and her son Nelson immediately bonded with some of our Glimpsers.

After lunch we went over the Welcome and Leader of the Day Seminar. Both were pretty interesting, and we got to meet each other better. At 4pm we went outside, and we ran into a big surprise. We had a SUPER FUN dancing class. We learned about typical Ecuadorian dances and we had the chance to wear typical costumes. We had a blast with all the dancers from “Renovación” Dance group. They were very polite and we were able to simulate an Inti Raymi (Sun Party) Celebration. We all made a big circle, held hands and got our first taste of Ecuador’s dancing culture.

After so much fun we went back to the Hotel, had a break of 30 minutes and had the chance to buy some snacks. At 6pm we got all together again, so we could meet the owner and the staff of our hotel. We also had our “First Impressions” reflection session, where we could express ourselves and we discussed our feelings and thoughts.

We finally went back to Roma Santa for dinner and had our first nightly meeting. We shared our “Big Loves” and we ended the day with a Unity Clap.

Everyone is feeling pretty excited and we are ready to see new places and meet more people. Tomorrow we will have a city tour where we will discuss history and culture.

Today, we all learned about flexibility, we met new friends, travelled to a completely new country, moved hotel rooms, and tried our first Ecuadorian meal. We are all very proud of how positive each and every one of us remains, despite the long travels and little sleep we were able to get last night. The student LDD will be posting on this blog every night to keep all our loved ones up to date with our adventures! Please post comments on this blog, as we will be sharing them with the students each night!

Hasta pronto,

Ana y Jerry