“It has been a whirlwind of a first week here in Ecuador. I showed up at the Guayaquil airport early Wednesday morning at about 1 in the morning, then had to take a 2.5 hour ride to get to the mission. By the time it was all said and done, it was about 4 AM when we arrived at the mission. We, meaning my volunteering companion ,Phil, and I, met Fatima, who already has a direct ticket to heaven, and she helped us to our rooms even though my Spanish suffered as I could barely even keep my eyes open.
There is a little 2-year old boy hear whose name is Jean Carlo. He makes my day every time I get to see him. When he sees me, he runs to me and has the biggest smile on his face. His story is very heartbreaking though, and I’m so blessed to get to know him in the short time that I’m here. He and his older brother were found in the streets on Tuesday and they were eating garbage. Fatima told me that they looked so sad when they found them, but now they have been checked out by the doctors, gotten haircuts and have been smiling ever since. He has the biggest heart and the biggest smile I have ever seen.
On Thursday, we started working in the school right across the street from the mission. Phil and I are both working in 1st grade, but different classrooms and professors. There’s another little boy in the class whose name is Nicolas, who loves to dance when music is playing at lunch. He’s super smart and outgoing; he loves to help and pay attention when la profe (the teacher) is instructing the class. The girls in the class always want me to look at their pictures they colored or hold my hand. They are so much fun!
Yesterday and today, we went to the beach about 5 minutes by driving from the mission. A popular game has been when Phil and I open our legs in the water and the kids swim through. We played that game for almost an hour. It truly is the small things in life that make a difference.”