Big Change Up

Big Change Up

Going into this trip people talked about how this trip moved them in different ways but I had no idea in the way or to what degree this trip would change my outlook on life. As cliché as it is, my life did take a 180 degree turn during this trip. For this blog I am going to walk you through the day I changed what I wanted to do with the rest of the life.

May 16th, 2013 I woke up outside on the terrace hip hard pressed against the tile surface, Damion’s rastafari hammock draped over me. Awakened from my slumber to sound of yoga happenings much to early for any one human to be awake. The night before Dan and I got locked out of our room. We decided the best play was to sleep on the terrace instead of banging on the door and waking up the entire hostel. We brought out the couch and placed it in front of Cynthia’s and Kelley’s door just because their reaction would be hilarious.  Dan slept on the couch while I used Shellie’s yoga mat as a bed and both Tisha and Shellie lent us their pillows for the night. It was a rough sleep but not without purpose. That night as I struggled to find a comfy sleeping position and was kept awake by fear of a clown attack (because Kelley broke her promise to guard me from sinister clown ambushes. For those that don’t know the garbage trucks in Ecuador play the most creepy circus clown music that gives many of us in the group a very eerie feeling.). In the middle of the night I finally thought of my final project idea. At 7:30 in the morning Mike came rushing upstairs shocked to hear the event that had just transpired the night previous. Poor Mike thought that he had slept in and missed the bus because the other two beds in the room were empty.

At the daycare we received a brief tour and description of what life is like for these children here. It was incredibly hard to imagine the that there are families that can not afford to feed their children. Because the children are so malnourished they face health risks and are much smaller than they should be. One boy, who we named Stag because of his Stegosaurus like hair, was incredibly small for his age. Learning first hand these kids hardships moved me in a way I didn’t think was possible. These stories in combination with meeting such kids as Hanz who was so excited to see all of us and wanted only to play, I could not help feel something for all of them. To be so joyful and care free with barley any food in their bellies is absolutely astonishing. For these reasons I decided to switch from the school to the daycare. When we went for lunch at the mall I to Cynthia about why I switched and she suggested that I should look into teaching elementary school. When first brought up I scoffed at the idea.  After thinking it over and spending time with all the kids I fell in love with them especially little Stag hair I very much want to teach elementary school. before the trip I thought that was the last place I would ever want to teach. Teaching children who love you and don’t have the attitude yet is a refreshing change from teaching teens who don’t want to be there.

Words can not describe the change I felt on this trip but I could not be happier that I was given the opportunity to experience the rewarding feeling you get from volunteering and helping people. I can not wait to get back to Edmonton to do similar projects.
Zach