I only speak a little Spanish…

What an amazing week! After spending four days team teaching Physical Education with my amazing group (Darielle, Thea, and Justin), I had the opportunity to work in some English classrooms this afternoon. On a Friday afternoon… kids get rowdy. That’s just a fact of life. So we played a lot of games and I got to see how far the students have come with their English skills.

Although we came to Ecuador with the hopes of helping two families on the build day and the teachers at the high school this week, it is very important that we recognize these experiences as learning opportunities for ourselves. The language barrier has been particularly challenging for many of us, I believe. However, the student’s love for us “gringo’s” did not need words.

We spent many minutes after class and at the end of the day signing autographs, posing for photos, and receiving small gifts. As Alex and I finished up our very last class at the school, the students immediately swarmed us, begging us not to return to Canada.

We felt incredibly loved all week long. We had several days where many students’ parents were at the school for various presentations and celebrations (including the presentation of the gringo’s!!). I didn’t really realize the impact that we could make until a mother came up to me, tears in her eyes and rambled a whole bunch of Spanish at me. She took my hand in hers, and my only response was, “ablo un poquito d’espgnol.” She smiled a little and let out a soft, “muchas gracias.”

This week has been packed with highs and lows and countless unforgettable moments.

Tomorrow will be another emotional day as we get to say good bye to many of the students and their families. But I have to say… I’m looking forward to heading home. The greater the distance between the crickets and myself, the happier I will be.