Today, I’m continuing my series of posts relating to my recent trip to Ecuador. For previous posts, click here.
After we left Paul’s house, we returned to the Child Development Center (EC469) to observe a typical class and have some fun with all the children. This is the first time that we really got to play and interact with the children in a large recess-like setting. As soon as we got back to the Child Development Center, we were escorted into one of the after school classes to observe a typical lesson, and, depending on time, help with a corresponding craft. My small group observed an older class of 10-12 year-olds studying Jonah and the Whale. The best part? As soon as I was back on the campus, Valeria sought me out and was once again glued to my side. If you look closely, you can see the two of us in the very back-right of the photo below (in the classroom learning about Jonah).
After the lesson it was time for recess, and we brought out all of the fun stuff: stickers, jump rope, pipe cleaners, nail polish (big hit), and bubbles (which quickly caused a stampede. IF you go on a Compassion trip, and you take bubbles, I suggest you take one large container of mix and lots of wands. I took tons of individual bottles – around 100 – and was overwhelmed with the demand.)
And Valeria, she won my heart that afternoon. She was shy, by fiercely loyal; making sure I was in eye sight the entire time. I’m am so glad I get to continue to play a small part in her life.
There were three of us that took nail polish for the girls, and we had a variety of colors; even glitter; which was a big hit. You didn’t have to tell the girls to be careful either, they knew exactly what to do to dry the polish and keep it all pretty.
Back at the hotel, we had a few minutes to decompress before meeting as a group for supper. The hotel was lovely, more like a compound resort than a hotel, with several smaller outcroppings of rooms rather than a single all encompassing building. My room was nice, but a bit odd (more on that later); and the restaurant was delicious! In fact, every bit of the food was wonderful – and I’m a picky eater.
I was truly surprised at how much I enjoyed eating on this trip – I mean, I even packed single servings of peanut butter and pretzels because I didn’t think I’d be able to eat much of the local fare. And you know what, I ended up donating most of the peanut butter at the end of the trip.
From roasted corn kernels (which tasted like a great popcorn), to potato soup, to chicken any way you’d want it, the food was amazing. And the drinks – to die for. Seriously, Ecuador has the best fruit juice. It’s completely pure, not watered down, no substitutes, just true awesomeness: especially the guanabana mixed with blackberry juice. I still crave that stuff – and can not find it here.
It was a great ending to the first full day in Ecuador.