Rusty nails, Rice, and Realizations.

Today we find ourselves on the twenty third day of our adventure here in Ecuador. We awoke to the light rain that seems to shower these lands every day and the realization that our time here in La Variente is drawing to a close. Our leader Daniel said something in the first days of our journey that seems to perfectly describe the time we’ve spent here “The days feel like weeks, and the weeks like days,” Our days here our long, sometimes trying-but always wonderful, yet as at least I look back on the time I have spent in this village I can’t escape the feeling that the time has flown. The laughs, bags of cement, rice filled meals and evenings in the river all begin to run together.But I know moments of this trip and my time in this community will remain with clarity in my memory forever and the lessons I have learned will impact my life for years to come. For many here I believe we will return to our families with a new sense of family. We have each been welcomed into our respective homes with open arms. We have been hugged and praised and cherished. I have a hard time discerning in my family who is a sister, who is a daughter and who is a friend. Because it is of no importance. We are all family here, and we have all worked together in the past three weeks to help and teach each other and it is this exchange of culture, lifestyle and love that has made our time here so special. I think we will all return home with an altered concept of the world and what it means to open our hearts.

Our time has not been without trials( broken bridges, scares with rusty nails and crazy bus rides…we all have lots of stories to tell!) but I know we will look back on our time here in La Variente as one to remember and one that we grew from. Now we look forward to our final days and then on to the Galapagos!

-Camille Garnsey

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