New experiences and lessons learned…

Hello Again!

Wow, I honestly can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks in our sites it really only feels like 1. The time has been flying by! I hope it stays that way because I’ve got 102 left!

speechless

Exactly…

Well my first week in site was pretty interesting, I spent most of my time getting to know where everything is, how everything worked and who I was going to be working with…

I had to get into a rhythm with my new host family which wasn’t too hard but was a little awkward at first because they want to treat me like a guest when really I’m more of a new daughter or tenant (depending on how you look at it).  They’re a very sweet couple, they both work during the day and at night they’re tired so we pretty much just do this…

no-thanks

Which I am very grateful for because my other volunteer friends are constantly telling me how their host families are like…

Clingy

Except MUCH less adorable…

I’ve been contributing to the household by washing dishes and I made them tuna fish sandwiches because I couldn’t find ingredients for anything else that I know how to make! They pretended to like them at least…

I also went and bought some stuff at the store that I only later realized was all past its expiration date…

louie

But you know… it’s the thought that counts?

My host mom usually cooks for everyone and the food so far has been pretty good, but today I actually encountered a meal that I couldn’t even force myself to eat…

Pork skin stew… we had rice and potatoes and PORK SKIN! At first I was like, ok, I can stomach this, just swallow it, don’t chew, don’t think about it…. Then… I noticed the hairs… PIG SKIN HAS HAIRS! IT LOOKS LIKE MAN STUBBLE!!! At that point I couldn’t even try to eat it, when I looked at it I was like….

do-not-want

And I then only ate the potatoes and rice… Fortunately they had to leave half-way through the meal so I just threw the rest away. I hope to God I never get served that again!

As far as my work is concerned, my Red Cross youth group is trying to raise money for a camp that is now in a week so my first weekend in site we held TWO fundraisers! The first one we made empanadas and half of us were like….

cooking

And the other half were like…

lazycat

And we didn’t make NEARLY as much money as we thought we would, so we decided to sell fruit salad on Sunday too!

This is a summary of what happened…

happy chef

chop

pulling hair

fire

bomb

We worked for around 5 hours and only made about $3… To be honest, I was a little discouraged. Then to make things extra discouraging, that evening I got sick… So I pretty much felt like…

rudd-sucks

The best part of the day was that I experienced my first earthquake! While I was sleeping, it shook me awake and in my mind I thought someone was shaking me and I was like….

karate fail

But then no one was there and my room was still shaking. So then I was like…

tumblr_m7abge6Pwf1r089y6

But it stopped and then I was like… Well, since I’m awake now, might as well go to the bathroom!

joey-shrug

So it wasn’t too inconvenient…

So moving on, earlier this week since I’m supposed to be working with youth in general (not just the Red Cross) I helped out with a fundraiser for an animal rights organization with mostly kids. Each month they put on theater style movies with a snack bar and everything! This day was Monster’s University so all of the local kids came and it was like….

freak out kid

But all of their volunteers were organized and they made a TON of money!

Then after that we set up a snack bar at the local high school’s sports competition. And we sold out of everything! I kept asking myself, how is this organization doing this so easily compared to ours!?

does-not-get-it

Then I realized what we were missing…

mom

EXACTLY!!!

Wellllll, at least an Ecuadorian woman in our group…. they have them… we don’t…

Just for some cultural clarification… My counterpart is a 30 year old male who is very dedicated and professional… However when it comes to Ecuadorian culture, cooking, handling food and taking care of children is NOT a man’s job… So it makes perfect sense why having an Ecuadorian woman present makes things run so much smoother…

Sooooo when the Red Cross youth group had our third fundraiser today, I put on my teacher hat and delegated my face off! It felt like…

magic cooking

And this time around everyone was working on something instead of sitting around waiting and all of us were like…

chef

AND GUESS WHAT!? We sold ALL of the empanadas! Afterwards I felt like…

godzilla

Now I know this couldn’t have happened my first weekend here because I didn’t know the kids and they didn’t know me AND we ALL didn’t know how to make empanadas… But this has really helped me realize how quickly I’m integrating and how much I’m going to enjoy working with these kids. Rewarding and fun…

Well, thank you for reading my blog I know this was a long one! I’m gonna be pretty busy next weekend with the camp so it will probably be a little while before I can post again…

I’m going to post my new address in the Contact tab soon so if you feel like sending me a letter there it is!

I hope all is well in your part of the world!

Peace out!

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2 thoughts on “New experiences and lessons learned…

  1. Hilarious Courtney! U make me laugh…I love the photo fill-in-the-blank as u tell your story. Awesome. Pig skin…I would be passing as well. Watch out for the chicken soup. Its really chicken foot soup!!!

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