Thursday – This was our last day teaching at the school. We taught our baseball lessons to 7th-9th grade. These grades enjoyed learning new baseball words in English, some symmetry concepts, and a craft which involved the students using their handprint to create a baseball. These students also really enjoyed learning to play the game of baseball. They understood many of the rules that were taught and had fun playing outside. After teaching two classes, we had a break before lunch. We walked down the street and bought some drinks to try. For lunch, we enjoyed a traditional Ecuadorian meal and some conversation with the staff. The staff had a surprise for us as well – they prepared presentations for us in English. They have been learning from the English teachers at the school and decided to teach us how to prepare two foods. We also exchanged gifts we had brought and made for them as well. This was bittersweet knowing it was our last full day at the school. In the evening, we had our final debrief which was a culmination of the entire week and we began to process our trip. We also prepared lunches for the fifth graders and our translator came to spend the evening with us.
Friday – Today was a very bittersweet day as it was our last day in Quito. We had an early morning and got to the school early for their worship and a program for us. It was beautiful to watch what the students and teachers had prepared. They sang a few songs in English. This was heart warming because it is clear how hard they have worked to do this for us. After the program each student hugged each of us goodbye. Needless to say, there were tears involved. Then, we had a few minutes to get ready for our field trip. We took the fifth graders to the water museum, where they learned about water conservation and had some fun. This was a fun experience for us too, as we got to interact with the students in a more individualized way. After the field trip, our team headed to downtown Quito to do some sightseeing. We saw some beautiful historic churches and some unique landmarks. We also went to see the Virgin Mary statue. We went up inside the statue for a beautiful view of the entire city. Our last stop was at the market where we bought some handmade souvenirs.
After finishing packing and cleaning up at Extreme, we headed off to the airport. Currently, we are waiting for our flight. By noon tomorrow we should be back home.
What an amazing week it has been. We have seen God working in extraordinary ways and our lives have been changed. May we take all that we have learned this week and allow God to continue to work in our lives
Until next time, Ecuador!
TUESDAY – Tuesday was our first day of teaching and it went very well. We taught K-3rd and what an experience that was from teaching them the terms of Baseball in English, to some addition and subtraction, and then wrapping it up with a fun craft! Next we walked the students through the rules of Baseball and then led them outside to try the game out. At first it was a little challenging, especially with the younger ones, but as the day went on the game got easier; still a challenge but easier!
Before we knew it the three classes of the day was over and it was time to move on to the next project of the day. We finished up our painting job and then headed to a big park in Quito. We saw a lot of different sports being played and got to admire the beauty. Finally, we came back to the house to settle down for the night and reflect on the past day.
WEDNESDAY – Wednesday was an eventful day! The sun was shining and we were eager to teacher our next age groups, 4th-6th. Again, we taught them different Baseball terms all in English, did some multiplication and division, and then finished with another craft.
After teaching all day we hurried up and ate our lunch and we headed off to the Center of the World. It was such a cool experience! After that we headed off to try a taste of Guinea pig, which is a common food here in Ecuador. No me gusta! But i guess its the cultural experience is all that matters. We finished up the day with preparing for our final day of teaching tomorrow. Praying for warm sunshine and health! Good night.
Sunday we woke up bright and early after a late night to go to San Pablos church. The service was very moving. The whole congregation learned part of a song in English just for us and the whole congregation came together in a heart felt prayer session for one of the members dealing with an illness. After church we had lunch at BBQ Pinchinchas where we took a few church members to talk to about their mission at the church, school, and neighborhood. We then burned off our large meal by walking down the hill to the school to get a feel for the neighborhood we are working in. We then headed to the mall in the center of Quito to look at the stores, which were very similar to our stores in America, and buy some groceries for the week. The grocery store was very busy and took a while to make our way through. After getting back to Extreme Response and unloading, we walked down the street to get some fresh bread for dinner and we made pasta.
Monday we traveled to the school where we first watched a music and dance performance by the students. Then we talked to a few of the administrators about their pillars for educating the students and were given a new critical thinking game to try to solve. It was rather hard! Then we went to recess with the children and played a game. We observed in the classrooms the rest of the school day and then helped to paint some of the trim in a hallway. Then we were off to dinner at La Tios for pizza. We tried the Hawaiian pizza with pineapples and ham on it as well as the custom pizza that had peaches, pineapples, and ham. They were both very good! We had a long walk back up the hill to Extreme but it helped to burn off all those pizza calories.
Tomorrow we get to teach! Very exciting! Praying the Lord will help with the language barrier and the next few days will go smoothly.
We had great flights! All our luggage came with us and the team is doing well. Thanking the Lord tonight and excited about the week ahead.
The first leg of the flight was great! We are waiting in the Atlanta airport, grabbing food, and enjoying people watching! Next flight at 5 pm. 🙂
Alright…so here’s the thing…today was a big day for us! Today was a day of firsts for sure! We started the day off at Rey Sabio Salamon spending time with the teachers and students. They showed us many cultural games that were so much fun to play! We even played a four on four soccer game and won against them! After playing the games with them they put on a goodbye show for us. It was amazing to see all of the talents that God has provided those children with. They danced, sang, played instruments and even did some miming! It was so incredibly hard to say goodbye to them.
After saying our goodbyes, many more firsts began. We went to the center of the earth (both the real and fake one). We attempted to balance eggs on nails, watched water drain different ways, and tried to walk in a straight line with our eyes closed…talk about a fail. That was a really cool experience, though. We learned a lot about it from our tour guide. Then, we we drove through the clouds to get to the top of a volcano!!!! When we got there we walked through the clouds to see the top of the volcano and then walked into it!! Ahh!!! Lastly, we had the chance to practice our bartering skills in the market. That was an adventure in and of itself. Overall, it today was a really fun day. It was a day full of firsts and a day we will never forget.
It was so amazing to see God’s creations up close and personal. For me, it was breath taking to drive up the mountain into the clouds. When we were standing at the top of the volcano you could feel the clouds around us. It’s simply amazing to see the little details to His creations.
Also…we have passed through all the checkpoints without any problems, and we are now just chilling at our gate in the Quito airport. We can’t wait to see you guys and tell you all about our Quito adventure! Hasta manaña!!
Today was our last day of teaching in Rey Sabio Salomon. Our goal was to finish with a big bang and from what I heard we did just that. Unfortunately I was unable to join the team this morning. It was so great to hear about everyone’s lessons. I was able to vividly imagine the expressions of the children through my team’s descriptions and excitement. God has been so good this week. I can see his presence growing everyday in my team.
Tonight we had an appreciation dinner with the teachers from the school. The team spread out and sat amongst the teachers. Tonight was so great to just relax and attempt to talk to each other in our broken languages. We were able to laugh with each other at our attempts in speaking each other’s language. God was present tonight (as always) as we had the opportunity to get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ. The love and appreciation the teachers showed us as we came into their school and messed up their schedule was amazing. It was completely the work of God through them as well as the children. Tonight there was pure joy in all of us. A joy that lasted even after dinner when we got back to the flat. A joy that will continue onto tomorrow as we spend our last day together. A joy that will remain in our hearts everytime we think of our family in Christ here in Ecuador.
Today we had the opportunity to teach the students of RSS for the very first time. Despite the language barrier, everyone’s lesson went extremely well. We all felt like God was with us from the beginning to the end. He gave us a peace of mind by calming our nerves so that we could present our lesson to our best ability. I am so thankful for the patience of the students, teachers, and translators. God has allowed us to learn so much from each other. The diversity that we face throughout the week will prepare us for the future as teachers. We are very excited that we have the chance to teach and inspire these young minds again tomorrow. I am looking forward to seeing what God has planned for the days remaining.
Today was our second day of observation in the classrooms. The kids and teachers were more engaging with us. Our language barrier is, of course, still there but not inhibiting us from forming friendships. Lorri and I helped the 8th grade class work on learning a worship song in English. That was a great honor for us to help them learn proper pronunciation. What struck me most today was the sense of God I felt. Everywhere we go, His presence is felt around us. I am constantly in awe of our Creator here. I see His hand on the kids and staff at RSS and He has given me such a love for this city and the people.
Today was the beginning of getting involved in the school. We started the day by getting up by 6:00am. We did our morning routine of breakfast and a devotion by our team member, Mason. We then were on our way! Once we got to the school we got settled in and met the faculty of the school. The teachers and other faculty were just as excited as we were for us to be there. Each of us introduced ourselves and then we headed into the classrooms. We experienced recess with the students and were able to become childlike with them. The school day ended by 2:00pm, and then it was time for lunch and professional development. We finally finished our day by going to a bakery and convenient store.
The people of Ecuador are so kind and loving. It has stood out to me the past two days. Today, though, working with the students amazed me; they will come up to anyone and just hug and love him or her. Coming from the U.S. where we all have to have our own personal space, it was a shock to experience it. But, it was such a wonderful feeling of love and acceptance.
The love God has for us is especially shown through these children. God has such a huge heart, which was shown through these children today. They could have been frustrated that we came here and messed up their routine but they were so loving, as were the faculty. I feel so blessed and loved to be here even though I may be thousands of miles from people I love dearly myself.