Serenity, Courage, Wisdom

Hey Everyone!

So the last few weeks have definitely been a roller coaster as far as emotions and activities are concerned!

Shortly after my last post, I celebrated my first birthday in Ecuador!

bill

I got to get out of my site and spend some quality time with a few volunteers and it was so much fun!

We were pretty much like this the entire time…

amok

Once I got back to site, it took me a few days to get back into the rhythm of things, plus, I had managed to get sick during my travels (like always) so for the first few days I was pretty much like…

good-morning

After that I jumped right back in! I organized a meeting for my Red Cross youth group, I made a calendar of events/activities for all of the schools I was working with and I was generally like…

hot-potato

I then had my meeting with my Red Cross kids and only 4 showed up, so we were all pretty much like…

lucy-disappointed

Since it was the first meeting back from vacation I wasn’t too shocked, but I then had to get creative about how I was going to get the kids to meetings. I messaged our Facebook group, sent out text messages and went to the schools during recess and made an announcement. When the next meeting came, 8 kids showed up. While it isn’t as many as I had hoped for, in the end I was pretty much just like…

meh

We ended up having a good meeting and talked about recruitment and changes we wanted to make so I’m pleased and optimistic about the future of the group.

Also during these last few weeks I started really trying to collaborate with the schools on after school activities and clubs. Apparently the Ecuadorian government has started to require that schools create clubs that are during school hours and mandatory. Since I am used to clubs being after school and optional when they told me about it I was kind of like…

confused_lion_king

But in order to get into the schools and meet the teachers and students, my counterpart and I made an agreement with the school district that I could help with the new clubs!

I have also been cleared by the district to do activities with the kids after school. The after school activity concept seemed to confuse a lot of the Ecuadorians since it wouldn’t be mandatory for the students to attend. When I told them my idea they were pretty much like…

but-why

and after a little explanation they were all pretty much like…

not-bad

Well, because of all of this planning, for the last month I have been meeting with the schools to organize ways for me to assist them and organize my after school activities. After a few weeks, several schools told me they wouldn’t be ready to start their clubs until July. At that point I felt like…

nothing turns out

Then after meeting and making a calendar with one specific school, I went to confirm the activities and was told that they had to cancel and was treated pretty rudely by the Principal. After that I was pretty much like…

the worst

All of my activities that I had planned and gotten really excited about were just like…

denied

I mean, they only got postponed, but pretty much everything I work on seems to get continually postponed. I started to worry that the entire 2 years of my service were going to look like this…

sweatpants week

I got very discouraged and started wondering what I was even doing here, if I was just wasting my time and if the community even really wants or needs me to be here. I definitely just wanted to be like…

smoke bomb

After my pity party, I decided to do what I do best, reevaluate and plan, plan again. I changed my plans to primarily focusing on just helping the schools with their clubs in order to meet students/teachers. After I get to know more people, I can then work on starting other activities. All in all the new plan seems less stressful and more realistic so I started to feel more like…

ok it's fine

There was still one school that I had planned activities with in May so I was hopeful that maybe I could get actually something started with them. I showed up the day before to confirm and talked to a teacher who told me to come back the next day at 2:00 in the afternoon to start my activities.

To the teacher I was like…

excited-anna

But in my head I was like…

oh yeah

 

So the next day, I assumed maybe 15-20 kids would come to the activity, or that it would just be cancelled. So I just planned some arts and crafts and getting to know games.

Well, when I arrived, there were around 70-80 kids there! I was like…

what spaceballs

I had never expected so many kids! Needless to say I had to throw out my entire arts and crafts plan and we just played games for an hour. Fortunately, there were teachers there to help so I wasn’t having to deal with that many kids by myself! Regardless, afterwards I was pretty much like…

highest of fives

Then the next day I got to go back to the school and help the teachers during their club/recess time! I got to meet a lot of kids and the teachers are very excited to work together. After everything else not working out, it definitely showed me…

good-luck

 

As some of you already know, I have a trip back home planned in June! This is another reason why I wanted to set up the groundwork for my projects before I left, so I can hit the ground running when I get back! However, after trying to plan everything out this last month, I have definitely learned that all you can do is your best and you have to work with what you have. Also, I need to stop over-planning things because apparently…

responsibility crazy person

 

 

Well in other news, as of May 15th I have officially been in Ecuador 1 year!!!

celebrate 2

While I still have a year and 3 months left, I can’t believe how quickly this time has passed… some days, obviously, faster than others! I am grateful for where I am and what I’m doing and hopefully I’ll get some more stuff done in the next year or so!

In the end I definitely feel like this is what I’m doing in my community…

adventure

 

Hopefully I will be able to see most of you when I come back for my visit! I can’t believe it’s coming up so soon!!! Every time I think about it I’m like…

trek happy

 

Well, that’s all for now!

Hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace Out!

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