My Daily Routine in Lumbisi, Ecuador
After taking some time to explore Ecuador prior to my program, I have enjoyed three relatively low-key weeks volunteering. I’ve been staying with a host family in Lumbisí – a native community near of Quito – working at a day care center with children between the ages of one and three. My daily routine is quite simple.
I eat breakfast with my hostess Clara (her husband, son, and nephew usually leave home earlier), in a dining room overlooking the Cotopaxi volcano. That alone is enough to get me in a good mood for the rest of the day… Afterwards I take a 5-minute walk to work, passing through the town square and getting more views of the volcano and surrounding mountain ranges. It’s hard to beat that commute!
At the center, my work consists of serving meals and assisting with classroom or outdoor activities (e.g. doing puzzles, reading, going on the swings). The children eat several times a day – there’s breakfast, a fruit break, lunch, and an afternoon snack before they go home. When it’s their nap time, I go back to the house and eat lunch with my host family. After that it’s more games with the kids until about 4pm.
Besides occasional trips by bus to nearby Cumbayá – a larger town with many entertainment options, plus local and international students of the Universidad San Francisco de Quito – I stay put in Lumbisí.
I’ve found the town to be just the right environment for my travel blogging – there are few distractions and I have a comfortable room with lots of natural light coming in. When I’m not writing, I take walks around town, watching street life, taking photos, and occasionally stopping by at bakeries (impossible to resist).
Besides getting a lot of rest and staying healthy in Ecuador (my hostess is a great cook, serving up fresh rice, beans, vegetables, and fruit juice), I will remember the program for the time spent with the children.
It didn’t take long before I started bonding with them, especially one adorable 2-year-old. My little buddy and I have spent lots of time playing soccer, walking around the grounds, or just him sitting on my lap. Somehow we’ve also talked quite a bit – not sure whose Spanish is better… And during one of my walks I ran into another student. Right away the girl greeted me with a big smile, a wave, and “¡hola!”
I know I’ll miss moments like these…
Read all of Pola’s blog posts here.