July 2, 2008
WOW, today was a full day. Our day started with breakfast at 7:45am Tea, juice, eggs, bread, a warm soup type cereal that was blended quinoa and passion fruit. You drink it like a tea.
We arrived from our respected host families homes at the community center at 8:30am (except for the boys showing up at 9am, but still eager and willing to get to work. We continued to sand, scrape and clean, then the fun began as we were able to finally begin painting. A bright yellow to coat on EVERYTHING. We had our loud Andean music playing in the background. We decided to make a mural on one of the walls going up the stairs. The students all got together and decided on an amazing idea that sent chills up my spine. Two birds, the condor and the bald eagle (to represent Ecuador and the US. With the backdrop of a large piece sign and the circle surrounded by people holding hands (representing us and the village kids) The eagles are landing in a nest that will be made by hand prints of ours and the other kids in the town!!!! GREAT idea!!! Well, that’s not all, they want to come up with some sort of phrase to talk about uniting us both and write it in Spanish, AND they want to put the Kichwa flag and or colors in there!
I continued to be surprised and excited by their kind hearts and excitement for joining the two cultures.
After lunch we returned to the community center to paint for another hour then head over to where the three boys, Zach, Hunter and Sam all stay with Rosa and Jaun. Rosa said she’d like to teach us how to make necklaces with beads. She was ready with husband and her daughters, her brother’s wife, and a table with chairs. She also had a plan for us to pick what we’d like to learn, then she teach us. We all chose colors and styles and then she split us into groups and the fun began. I joined Amy, Hunter, and Lindsay in a bedroom where we sat on the floor, beaded, and tried to talk Spanish with the Mother and Father (Rosa and Juan) of the house. We laughed, messed up, learned, taught, and got to see first hand how these people not only make their living, but pass their lives. The couple’s anniversary (although the man didn’t have it pegged) is this month and 18 years. He added that they are happy, which is obvious as we see them together everytime we interact. They even brought us all bananas this morning as a snack. We had a ‘chow’ circle after leaving and they promptly joined in, holding hands and l laughing at our jokes, one time I asked if they understood and a quick response of no came, followed by even more laughter.
We all walked back to our homes nearing dark down the carless streets of Agato, with a feeling of accomplishment and more of a sense of community, not just with the towns people, but within our group.
Everyone seems to be enjoying the food, or at least enough of it to be full. Constantly trying to please the people and the group everyone is so polite to their hosts and to each other, there is a true feeling of sensarity in the atmosphere as the hours go on the more we discover, adapt, and understand.
I can only imagine what the rest of the time will give us.