Today we had training, and it calmed so many of my nerves. Our team consists of six people: Maggie, our team leader; Nancy, a retired nurse from Austin, Texas; Ashley, a pastry chef from Chicago traveling with her best friend Kris, who has Filipino sass; Chelsea, a pre-med student and my friend, and finally myself, Sarah. Chelsea and I are traveling together. We reviewed all of the policies and schedules for what we should expect over the next three weeks. We also were visited by the president of the FUNDAC organization that runs the daycare centers we will be in. She and her husband were both so warm and welcoming. We had a break after lunch and went outside and walked around the block. We also visited the supermarket and learned that in Ecuador pedestrians do not have any right-of-way and that in their grocery stores if you have fewer than ten items you are required to use the express lane, even though it’s ten times longer than the regular lanes.
After lunch we set goals for our team like exploring Ecuador, improving our Spanish, and building relationships with the people at the school. Our team goals:
To increase our Spanish vocabulary
To explore Ecuador
To immerse ourselves in and understand Ecuadorian culture
To make personal connections
We also defined our Characteristics of an Effective Team:
flexible effort understanding perseverance teamwork
forgiveness patient sense of humor kind cautious
adventurous respectful openness hardworking accepting
I’m so excited to be at the daycare center tomorrow and start working with my team of fellow volunteers. Today’s training has calmed me down and pumped me up even more about beginning my service.