Ecuador Blog Day 11: Volunteering in the community

By: Caitlin Salvino
Today I was struck by how much I’ve changed and grown in the past ten days. I didn’t think that in such a short period I’d be so impacted.

(From left) Amelia, Rebecca, and I before going to the build site.

By: CAITLIN SALVINO

Monday, July 15, 2013

Overlooking the community of Shuid.

Overlooking the community of Shuid.

Today I was struck by how much I’ve changed and grown in the past ten days.  I didn’t think that in such a short period I’d be so impacted.  There are so many things about me that have changed.  I’ve completely adjusted to Ecuador:

– The cold weather: wearing less and less layers everyday

– Staggered showers seem normal to me now

– The food: I’ve developed a huge appetite trying all different kinds of food and avoiding wasting any of it by eating everything on my plate

Everything has changed; the way I see the world, my confidence, and my independence.  This trip has taught me so much about not only myself, but about everything I’m capable of as well.

Unlike many of the other volunteers, I don’t feel homesick at all. On the contrary, I wish I could stay here for months.  All of my family and friends seem so distant. Even the problems I faced back home before coming here seem insignificant compared to the struggle I’m seeing in Shuid every day.  I feel very at home here and I feel like I’ve found something that I want to continue doing as much as possible for the rest of my life.

(From left) Amelia, Rebecca, and I before going to the build site.

(From left) Amelia, Rebecca, and I before going to the build site.

Today we did a half work day in the afternoon on the build site. I volunteered to do concrete and did that for the rest of the afternoon.  I was extremely proud and excited when I realized that we had filled up almost all of the foundation with cement.

Later that night at the compound, I came up with the idea to sing the children of Shuid a song as a thank you because tomorrow is our last day of volunteering in the community.  We decided to sing them “Waving Flag” by K’ Naan and spent the whole night practicing harmonies until it was perfect.  I went to bed that night dreading the next day, knowing that it would be last in the community, but also excited to show them how much we appreciated their hospitality with a song.

– Caitlin

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