Monthly Archives: April 2014

Before Departure: Kalena

Do you think you’ll be enacting real change?

After everything we’ve discussed in our meetings, especially the danger of a “single story” about people, I’m going to have to say no…and yes.  I don’t think that whatever I do in Ecuador will be changing anyone’s life, because I’m just one volunteer on one service trip.  I hope that our efforts will have at least the smallest impact on a child’s happiness, but real change?  Real change, I think, will be what will happen with me.  I’ve volunteered on many service projects and done lots of “community service” but I have never really reflected much on it until CHANGE Break.  Our meetings have forced me to look at myself as a volunteer and as a servant, and examine my true motivations.

Honestly, I feel that the fact that we can look at our trip and say, “yeah, we won’t be changing the world” makes CHANGE Break that more important.  We shouldn’t want to change the whole world while we’re in Quito, Ecuador!  We should instead focus on individuals, learning about them and doing whatever we can (however miniscule in the long run) to improve their lives.

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Blog #1: Before Departure

Most of us plan on bringing a camera with us when embark on our trip to Ecuador.  Of course, right?!  Cameras are very useful at documenting memories.  But, so are our words.  In fact, writing may be able to describe memories better than pictures, since you can not only paint pictures with words, but include your thoughts, feelings, and descriptions of the sounds and smells around you.  Consider this when you’re blogging for CHANGE Break, and also consider bringing a journal with you (with a physical journal, you could also draw or paste souvenirs inside!).  You’re not required to do this of course, but it could benefit you in the long run.

For our first blog post, just reflect on your expectations of our service trip.  Choose to answer at least one of these questions:

1) What are you most looking forward to?

2) What are you most nervous about?

3) Do you think you’ll be enacting real change?

4) Or, after reflecting, write about whatever you’d like that’s relating to our trip!

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The City of Quito

quito

Quito, Ecuador, where we will be spending 11 days of service this summer.

At 9,350 ft., Quito is the highest official capital city in the world.  The approximately 2,000,000 population city is sprawled through a valley at the foot of Guagua Pichincha volcano, an active volcano of the Andes Mountains.

 

quito old

Quito was ruled by the Spanish for over 300 years, beginning in 1534 with the defeat of the Caras and Quitu indigenous peoples.  The Quitu had occupied the area since the first millennium.

This piece is an artist’s interpretation of Quito circa the mid-eighteenth century.  Uprisings against the Spanish began in 1809, and concluded in 1822 with the independence of Quito and the surrounding areas.

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