Ending of Ecuador

Things I miss about home when I am in South America:

Heavenly Hash Ice Cream
Air Conditioning/Heat
Cheap sushi
Functional Wifi
USPS

Things I will miss about Ecuador when I am home:

Artisan Markets
$1.50 lunches
Salsa clubs that stay open until 8 AM
The children and volunteers that I work with
Empanadas

Volunteers riding the trolley around Quito

It is my last day in Quito and I am feeling overwhelming sadness. Sitting in my bed here, I feel completely alone in a foreign country and yet completely connected with all the amazing people I have met here as well. The volunteers with UBECI are the most interesting and inspiring group of people I have ever met. They all spent their money to come here out of their comfort zone to try and make a difference in a child’s life and I am so glad I got to be a part of this experience with all of them. Leaving this place and these people is extremely hard. The experiences we shared were unforgettable and I truly hope I encounter all of them again.

Getting ready to go out, stairwell of the volunteer house

I really feel for the children of Ecuador who have to go to work every day and never get to have a real childhood. This summer has made me realize that volunteering is going to be a part of my life from now on because I was born in the United States and can afford to fly to places where I am needed (even with all my student loans!) The kids I worked with don’t even realize what they are missing. They are for the most part extremely happy, affectionate kids who are so excited just to have a day off to play, dance, sing, and color with the volunteers. They are eager to learn when we blend English lessons into the play time, but will never have a chance to attend school, get an education, and do better for themselves than their parents did. We volunteers were there to show them the potential they have to succeed.

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