Today, July 31st, was the first free day we had in Riobamba. Most of the morning, the Glimpsers had the opportunity to do laundry, work on our Community Action Project (CAP), and prepare for English tutoring. After the exciting and experience-filled first week we had, it was great to relax in the morning. It also gave us the opportunity to spend more time with one another and bond over games of “UNO” and basketball. During our free time, some decided to go to the local convenient stores to purchase snacks and see more of the surrounding area.

A group of 10 students went to an internet café nearby. While there, we were able to contact family members using payphones and computers. Even though we were given the chance to contact our families, and are all missing home in one way or another, we are all still very excited for the rest of the trip and bittersweet that one week has already passed.

After lunch, we had 3 members from the indigenous Cacha community visit and a few of the Glimpsers presented our Community Action Project. After discussing our ideas, we decided upon building them a much-needed welcome sign leading into the community – so as to make the community more accessible – as well as building shelves for their kitchen and painting a mural of the community flag. They were incredibly gracious and thankful for the time and effort we were putting into bettering their community. The leader of the community expressed his gratitude, saying that “The work you are doing for us will bring good fortune to you and your families tenfold.” It will be an honor to work with this community and we hope that the effects of our work will last for many years to come.

After we gave this presentation we went straight to the UE Miguel Angel Leon school to tutor in English (picture below).

This was the second day of tutoring and every single Glimpser felt more comfortable and connected with the students than we did the first day. We led activities such as playing games, teaching grammar, and generally bonding with the students in English. The topics of teaching ranged from colors and numbers to more complex sentences using advanced parts of the English language. It has been and will continue to be a very rewarding experience as we can see direct results in the children’s growth as well as the growth in ourselves.

While the rest of the Glimpsers were tutoring English, a select few – including teachers and students – went out in Riobamba to purchase materials for our Community Action Project. They frantically raced from store to store trying to find all of the necessary materials we needed. They worked so hard finding the materials that they almost missed dinner. This was a task that the Global Glimpse members heavily appreciated.

Like every day in Riobamba, we concluded with a nightly meeting. As part of the ritual for leaders of the day, the leaders of the next day must perform a talent. This night, they taught the group how to play a game that got everyone involved and ensured great fun. Overall, our first free day was filled with relaxation, humility and gratitude. We are ready to put our full efforts into our Community Action Project tomorrow!