Day 11, January 13, 2010


First, I wish to recap two items: Who we are, and where we are from; and team goals:
Barbara (NY), Glenda and Judy (Boston, MA), Jackie (CA), Shannon (AZ), sisters Meredith (TN) and Joanna (WV), me—Cora (MO), and our beloved leader Jennie (MN).

All of us are between the ages of mid fifties to early seventies and are grandmothers, except Jennie who is in her late twenties, has yet to “bite the bullet into motherhood,” but has mothered each of her Oldies-But-Goodies expertly and compassionately.

Our team goals included: (l) to learn Spanish; (2) to promote goodwill as an ambassador from the U.S.; (3) to serve the children, workers and community; (4) to appreciate Ecuadorian people and their culture; and (5) to enrich our lives. At last evening’s team meeting we all agreed our goals had been more than met. We have also melded into a strong (sometimes strong-willed) team as the 136th to this beautiful country.

We were all together for our breakfast of fresh fruit and juice, yogurt, roll and butter, and guava jelly, cereal and scrambled egg with ham. Joanna will rejoin the team at day care center (DCC) #2 after a 24-hour flu. Meredith and Judy will remain at Sol de Quito to recuperate. Jackie gave us her journal report during the meal. Shannon and Jennie will work at DCC #1.

It is sunny today, beautiful, yet I still have no photos of the Andes, especially Cotopaxi. Jennie used my camera in hopes of capturing the sight for me, but the mountains were shrouded in a haze.

Lunch at our regular spot, Mi Quinta, featured juice for some, potato soup, an entree of chicken, potato cheese patties, beef salad, and red Jello for dessert. We look forward to lunch, to down time, to compare notes. We brought back leftovers for our dog on the roof.

Shannon at DCC #1 with Jennie worked with 3-4 year olds coloring and practicing for their Friday presentation. Jennie also danced with the children.

At DCC #2 Glenda worked with tia Kathy, Jackie with tia Alexandra cutting, dancing, as they practiced for Friday, and reading two books in English. We swept the second floor for grouting.

Barbara cut, sliced, and diced in the kitchen. Joanna and I stayed close to tia Paty, where we shared nine, three of which are infants and most of the group is in diapers, but tia Paty works hard at potty training any toddler over 12 months. Having Joanna sing to the babies is such a treat.

This afternoon at DCC #2, Jennie, Sue, and Jackie prepared art activities for tomorrow while I attempted posters for one of the songs we will use Friday. Shannon at DCC #1 punched holes in art work for the children’s folders and both sje and Jennie helped get the children ready to go home as did those of us at DCC #2.

After a supper of spaghetti and a fruit-filled mousse, we nine, including sickies, were escorted to Jacchigua, a national folklore ballet, by our patient tour guide Martin and driver Carlos (both in suits). We were all pretty spiffy too. Jennie, who’d seen the ballet last year, made other plans—understandably.

Oh were we in for a treat! The small theater was perfect for close viewing and many had front-row seats. The cast attire was authentic Ecuadorian. The music group of four included the pan flute and mandolin (known here by another name). What a wonderful way to wrap up our time here!

Yes, two more work days.

I don’t recall ever working with such a caring and quirky bunch of volunteers. Yes, we are FAMILY.

And, Jen, while this experience would be good anytime, you have made our two weeks absolutely exceptional. Bravo!

So I leave this additional thought: Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. I John 3:18 (NIV)

By Cora

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