All worth it a hundred times over

Breakfast was fabulous as usual: bread, cheese, eggs, juice (I think it was passion fruit), and, of course, I had café con leche. Patricia has started remembering what each of us likes, a true sign of good service. They do have different fruits here that we do not have in the States. I have loved them all except the orange-colored one with the grey gelatinous seedy interior. Good flavor, but the texture is unacceptable. The naranjillas are great – try those.

We have all been doing manual labor 75% of the days this week. Jenn, Darrell, and I love seeing the progress being made. Our conversations with the mothers and fathers who are helping are always quite interesting. We laugh more at ourselves trying to translate out languages into gestures and sounds more than anything. It’s definitely a highlight when my amateur Spanish can actually hold up for a short conversation.


Working hard on a sunny day

Maestro Segundo arrived today. He is comparable to a contractor, but does all his own work. Darrell and I began assisting him in building the concrete block wall. Yes, I think we can put masonry on our resumes now. We also did our fair share of hauling more (yes, more!) dirt in five-gallon buckets from one place to another. Did I mention it was hot out? Yup, we are all rosy red and I may suggest to my gym at home to start a new work out class involving gravel transport and cinder block tossing. But all this work is worth it a hundred times over when the kids and the tías come outside for recess and see our work. Those happy little faces and the excitement from the tías is payment enough.


Fun and sharing at recess

Jenn got a little too toasted this week so she helped inside for most of the day prepping for projects, chasing children, and cleaning after lunch. It was one of the kids’ birthdays and they had a little celebration with treats and cake as well. The kids are really warming up to us. One little boy invited me over for tea at his house. Most of them respond to our comment or direction. They are comfortable when we help with potty breaks, meals, and play time. They really are happy and adorable little children.


Emiliano and Missy – pure joy on the little one’s face

At the end of the day the maestro had taken Darrell under his wing (okay, maybe not “under”, Darrell is a good foot taller than the 4’10’’ maestro) and began teaching him all of his mason techniques step by step. It was pretty cool.

Tonight Richard the tour guide is picking up myself and Darrell for a two-day trip to Otavalo and Mindo. Jenn is going to see some more places we missed in Old Town. I’m looking forward to not carrying anything (like cinder blocks, gravel, or cement) for the next few days. Additionally, I’m ready to see the sights of Ecuador learn about the people and shop!

Entry submitted by: Missy

Message of the Day – Missy: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Chinese Proverb

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