Hannah’s Story

¡Hola! My name is Hannah Borowksy, and two summers ago, I went on a Global Volunteers trip to Ecuador with my family. I’m so thrilled to be able to tell my story here, to people who have never heard about my trip, because I’m pretty sure I’ve told every single story of my trip to every single person I know!

I’m not even really sure how I ended up in Ecuador on a Global Volunteers trip. I just knew I wanted to do something cool with my summer, and let me tell you, my goal was fulfilled! As my parents, younger sister, and I packed up and left our home in Minnetonka, we had no idea that our view of the world and our place in it was about to change.

We spent our time in Ecuador at a school for children. The kids were absolutely adorable and so thankful to have us there. During our first week, I helped out in a fourth grade classroom. The kids immediately bombarded me with questions. Did I have a car? What color? Was I married? When they studied math, I taught the students a new method for long multiplication. During their poetry unit, I translated a Shell Silverstein poem (with some help) into Spanish for them. Apparently translated poetry looses something because no one laughed! During the second week, I worked one-on-one with Kindergarten students teaching English. The kids were so sweet, but they were only 5 year old and let’s just say I gained invaluable insight into the importance of patience.

The tone of our trip was set immediately when we first met with the group and our amazing country manager. We were told that Ecuadorians are very open, and so the first question we were asked was about our relationship status – married, dating, single, or super single. From then on, our group clicked wonderfully. We kept a group journal that rotated between members every day and was read allowed each morning. We helped each other with Spanish verb conjugation; salsa danced at night, and explored Ecuador together on the weekend.

While my trip to Ecuador was undoubtedly incredible, to me, the amazing part is the long lasting affect the experience has had on my family and I. For example, during our trip we noticed that dental hygiene is a huge problem in Ecuador, and so for my sister’s Bat Mitzvah this past year, she asked people to donate toothbrushes and toothpaste for her to send to Ecuador. She’s collected over forty pounds of dental supplies. Also, as part of the trip we visited the homes of several students. It was heartbreaking to see the conditions in which these families lived, yet inspiring to see how optimistic they were. One family lived at the top of a mountain, and every day the mother carried her daughter, who suffered from cerebral palsy, down the mountain and to school, a trip that took two hours. It really made me think about how lucky I am, how grateful I should be, and how much we can do to help others.

1 reply
  1. Lori
    Lori says:

    Hi Hannah, Thanks for sharing your symposium presentation onto the blog. Your presentation was magnificent, and I’m so glad that those not able to be in Saint Paul that day can read it this way.

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