We split into two work groups today. This post is from the group that included Mr. Kilroy, James Shovlin, James Kuklinski, Kevin Cunningham, Alex Diaz, and Kyle Robinson.
Today we woke up at about 6:15 a.m. We were sort of reluctant to wake up so early but were much perkier after breakfast. We met the other volunteering school here as well. They are from Wisconsin(Marquette University High School - another Jesuit school) and are very nice. This was our first day of actual volunteer work. We took Ecuadorian public transportation on our way to our job sites. We were a little nervous due to the rumors of "pick-pocketers." The bus took us to our job sites and we began what would be a very tiring day.
When arriving at the house, we were very surprised. We saw a little cinder-block house that housed 11 people. Our job for the day was to do repair work on the house. The house was built into the landscape and our first task was to expand the back yard. To do this, we had to shovel out mounds and mounds of dirt. The dirt was later used for filling a large hole that will later support an additional room on the house. Next, we moved a large mound of gravel and rocks from the front of the house to the roof of the house. This took about three hours. This was a hard day of work for everyone. It involved a lot of lifting, shoveling, and the use of a pick-ax.
After the work was done, we were surprised when the people living in the house made a huge meal for us. It consisted of chicken, rice, potatoes, and beans. It was the best food some of us have had in our few days in Ecuador. We had a lot of fun attempting to communicate with the natives. They made many jokes with us and were very interested in our culture. They were so greatful of our help. WE were all very happy helping them as well and we believe we also got something special out of meeting these and having this experience.
-Kevin Cunningham and James Shovlin