Day 1, January 3rd, 2010

Message of the Day from Jennie-EXPECT SURPRISES!

Global Volunteers 136th service mission to Calderon, Ecuador begins with a day of orientation. Judy, Glenda, Sue, Jackie, Meredith, Joanna, Cora, Shannon and Barbara gather for breakfast, introductions in pairs and then a meeting with our FUNDAC hosts. Yolanda, Marujita, Elvita and Pilar seamlessly translated by our fearless leader Jennie. We learned about the two centers -#1 has 60 children including 10 kids of the tias. Children are in a nearby house. Center # 2 has 40 children completing 2nd floor construcion. Curriculum includes art, reading, legos, puzzles, homemaking and science “rincones.” There are 15 tias-8 at the first center, 6 at the second center plus Lili the administrator. The children range in age from 7 months to 5 years. The women were warm, open-hearted and repeatedly expressed their appreciation for the work of Global Vonunteers. Hugs and gratitude all around.

Jennie then reviewed our possible roles in Calderon, practices and policies. People volunteered to coordinate food, water, celebrations, journal, first aid and free time. We signed up to write Journal entries and “message of the day.” Jennie reminded us of the GV principal mission to “Wage peace and Promote Justice.”

We then did an exercise beautifully facilitated by Jennie where we each wrote 3 “to verb object” cards indicating our most important reasons for coming to Ecuador on this trip. All of the cards were posted into five categories by a group decision making process. We then chose one statement that best exemplified each category as follows-
To Learn Spanish
To be an ambassador of good will from the US
To serve children, teachers and the community
To appreciate Ecuadorean people and their culture
To enrich my life

The morning ended with the group spelling out some characteristics of an effective team as follows-
Respectful, Cheerful, Coorperative, Energetic, Flexible, Open Hearted, Friendly, Cohesive, Teamwork, Accountable, Appreciative, Enthusiastic, Prompt, Attentive, Giving, Sharing, Generous.

A delicious lunch was served featuriing lacro de papos-potato soup
pollo-chicken arroz-rice papas fritas-fried potatoes, forsas con crema-strawberries and cream and maracuya-passion fruit juice.

A break after lunch. Some went to the mall. Then we gathered for a review of Safety and Health suggestions.
Remember safety trumps.
No personal gifts
No intimate personal contact
No illegal drugs
There must always be matched labor.

An animated Spanish class followed highlighting greetings, ages, marital status, family composition and body parts which culminated in a body song.

Martin Mioanda coordinator of then spoke to us about available tourist opportunities for weeknights and next weekend. There was considerable interest in our group for many of his exciting offerings. He generously proposed lower rates and a free salsa class at the hotel. These activities will be coordinated and we will get back to him. More hugs all around.

Dinner featured trucka-trout arroz-rice papas and sopa de verduras-vegetable soup jugo denaranjellas-juice. Dessert was a pear like fruit called babaco.

After dinner we met to discuss free time plans. It was decided that most of us will go to Otovalo, a trip that included leather, lake, equator and market on Saturday Jan. 9th. We will go to Mindo, the cloud forest for nature on Jan. 10th. Jacchigua the National Folkoric Ballet on Jan. 13th and the Night Tour including churches lit, Panecillo and La Ronda on Thursday Jan. 7th.

We requested a better rate and Martin has offered the Tour for $20 each. He´ll let us know about the Salsa class on Tuesday Jan. 5th. Final event was a birthday song and gift to Evan. Exhausted volunteers retired before 9 pm.

by Barbara

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply