Saturday, June 6, 2009

Day 1 - Finally Here

The group at a stop outside Otavalo. Click on it for a larger view.

At around 7 we woke up and left for Otavalo, a small vendor-village which was quite disconnected from the typical tourist attractions. Throughout the two hour drive we traveled through the mountains bordering Quito. We encountered a dualistic landscape, consisting of beautiful mountain ranges, vallyes, farms, as well as broken-down huts and a variety of wandering animals. After arriving in a small village known for its leather vendors, we took a look around and began to realize how different life is in Ecuador. Ninos (small boys and girls) younger than 7 who were either controlling their own stands or walking around carrying various items to sell. We spent around an hour there, sight-seeing and purchasing some of those items.

Our second stop was the village of Otavalo. It was a short ride from our last stop, but the trip was still as breath-taking. As soon as our bus arrived, we were greeted by three "salesmen" that were not so typical. The three 5-year-old girls began to speak Spanish to us and to ask whether we would purchase their bracelets. As the day went by we stopped to have lunch at a cafe. The meal took about a half an hour to make because the cafe was owned and managed by only two women. Split among 12 people, the meal cost only $57, not what you'd find at your usual Applebees. Once our meal was paid for, we split and walked around checking out the different stands.

Because we spent most of our time just looking at what the people had to sell, we were often greeted by persistent vendors despite our disinterest in the stands. When we responded with "No Gracias" the vendors were disappointd, but surprisingly very friendly. There was an atmosphere of hospitality that was not expected.

Throughout the day we were challenged by a language barrier, by our reactions to poverty, and by urges to sleep off our jet lag. Because we weren't physically doing volunteer work, we weren't expecting much from the day. However, the ecounters that we had have filled us with the satisfaction and hope needed to begin our service.

-Kyle Robinson and Kevin Cevasco


The Robinsons said...

Wow what a wonderful first day! We are glad you had such a great opportunity to see the beautiful countryside and to experience how some of the people live. Hope tomorrow will bring more spiritual encounters!

latinaone said...

Great picture, amazing the view in the background of the mountains and the river,it reminds me so much of the mountains of Puerto rico! I am so impressed of the posting for it was so well written that for a moment I felt transported to the village. Imagine my surprise when it was two of the students the authors of the posting, good job guys and thanks for the update and picture. Good night get your rest for the best is yet to come.

Mike Wright said...

What’s up guys? Looks like your all having a great time "broing" out in Equis. I hope your all having an awesome time. JK I miss you so much. I cry myself to sleep every night knowing that you’re not in The Weez with me. Shov we wanted to have another water gun fight so we broke into your Ford Escape and took back all of our guns, the cops came, but it's all good because Forker was the only one who got caught and they just took him down town so it wasn't that big of a deal. And Kyle why would you ever cut the flow? You’re killing me dude. All right well have a great remainder of the trip, see all you guys when you return home, bring me back some Cubans. Adios.

-Mike Wright

P.S. When you guys attend mass when you’re down there I suggest you sing because Heff will get on you if you don't. And if he's mad at you for any reason whatsoever, try not to roll you eyes because that will only makes the situation worse. Love you Heff <333

B-ROB said...

I really don't understand why there is a language barrier, spanish is simply english with an "o" added to the end of a word. So kyle stop being dumb and Heff do a better job educating these kids. Other then that sweet shades Kyle and Peter Livolsi continue being all that is man.