Hey y’all it’s Jennifer and Farida. It’s been a long day here in Ecuador. There are many ways to describe the day..tiring, long, fun but most of all eye-opening. I think everyone learned a really valuable lesson, but first I’ll tell you what we did today.

We had to wake up around 7:30 and then we had breakfast which was like an Ecuadorian-style breakfast sandwich which was really delicious. We then had our mental warmup and health check-in to make sure everyone was functioning well and was not constipated. For our activity of the day, we split up into groups and visited different local families in Ecuador.

Personally for me(Farida) visiting the families I learned how to have fun which I feel like I haven’t done in forever. Today felt very free and relaxing even though I felt out of breath and like I was dying after playing football with the family and my group visited. Hanging out and playing with the kids really opened my eyes to the world around me and the privileges I have. For example, after the football game, when we all wanted to go ice skating, Sherly the little 10-year-old girl we were hanging out with said she didn’t want to go because she was worried about the cost. To me, it was just $5 but to her, it might have meant more. On a regular basis, I am willing to spend more than $5 for a boba but seeing her hesitate to do something because of the cost felt eye-opening.

Hi guys it’s Jennifer. I’m very proud of group 3 since they were very helpful to the family we visited. The family was kind and they felt very welcoming even though they didn’t know us. My group got the chance to experience the daily life of the family we got to visit. We were able to contribute to the family by helping them farm. We were able to pull out trees that were dried up and no longer giving tomatoes. (It’s called tomato tree…crazy I didn’t know about that type of tomato.) We were also able to plant corn seeds. I’m glad my group could help the family even though we may have not been such good of a help… I think what matters is that we were able to support the family. Our family included three children named David, Leonel and Alexander. All three are from the school we will be helping later in the future week in Ecuador. The family had a bunch of animals, many dogs, a donkey, three cows (would not stop staring at us.) 100 chickens, and guinea pigs. I was really shocked since they didn’t have the same things we would consider back in New York normal, for example, a restroom at home but here the family didn’t have a bathroom in their home and had to travel to their aunt’s house to be able to use the restroom. This was one of the things that made us realize the differences between Ecuador and the U.S.

In the end, I think I can confirm all four groups learned a valuable lesson. To appreciate what we have and to not be selfish about what we have. Being able to value what we have more is something we will take back to New York.

Big love all the way from Ecuador.