There is clearly great wealth here, as well as great poverty

Ecuadorian life seems almost routine now, with a familiar rhythm: Morning wakeup, walk, breakfast eggs and rolls, bus rides, work, lunch, more work, errands, dinner and free time. Our group is long past the “what do you do?” conversation; in an age of reality TV, I’ve come to believe the volunteer experience is way more entertaining.

Despite the familiarity, each day holds a few gems that surprise, inform, entertain. Today we saw another side of Quito that’s higher up on the glitzy scale that the neighborhoods where we live and work here. I admit that the sight of upscale shops and well-manicured entryways felt wonderful. There is clearly great wealth here, as well as great poverty.

As we approach the final stretch, my thoughts are turning homeward. I wonder how to describe Ecuador and the Global Volunteers experience. One word: contrast.
– Rich and poor
– Oil and eco-tourism
– Filthy work and spotless laundry
– Great need and greater hospitality
– Super-singles and empty-nesters
– Harry Potter and Salsa dancing
– Rainforests and 1-room houses
– $120 shoes and $1 purses
– Weathered indigenous women and handsome Calderonian hostesses
– Pre-Incan pottery and gilded cathedrals
– Beautiful hummingbirds and raty mongrels
– Strangers and friends

– Carrie W

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