Day 9: From a Hammock in Olon
Hola! I am writing this blog entry from a hammock while listening to the ocean waves in Olon. We arrived here on Thursday evening after a pretty jam-packed week of hard work with the agencies in Guayaquil. Having this time to look back and think about how amazing this experience has been has been a good treat after some hard work. I’m just going to talk a little about my experience with the main agency I worked with at a school called Colegio venti de Abril. We got to lead several physical education classes for student’s aged 12 and up. We weren’t really sure how going into a school and trying to communicate with students that speak a completely different language than ours was going to go, but it turned out to be easier than we thought. It really helped to have our interpreter Eleonora with us to relay some of the major explanations, but other than that knowing a few key words, like play, ball, and si was really all we needed! It is crazy how effective some simple gestures are to show what you mean! We started out with some pretty organized activities, such as Frisbee and basketball drills and organized stations, but we soon learned that letting the kids play soccer was something that worked really well! We also played a lot of british bulldog that the kids really seemed to enjoy. We found out that the kids physed classes are pretty structured and not a lot of games are played, so it was nice to see how much fun they were having with a change of pace and some fun games. Seeing the kids play soccer was probably one of the highlights of my time at the school. Soccer isn’t my favourite game, but after playing it with Ecuadorians, I found a new appreciation for it. They are so skilled and it was awesome to see them play something so well! We also worked with 9 students in a sexual health program. We taught them some games to open the communication networks between the students and they seemed to really enjoy us being there. We got to know their names and built some good relationships after only a few days. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to them after they made us feel so welcome in their school. Lots of pictures were taken and I will not soon forget the kids that we have met. Here is a group shot from our last day with the 9 kids.It truly was an amazing experience working with these kids and I cannot wait to be done school so that I can work everyday with kids playing games and sport!