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‘Unstoppable Happiness and Smiles’ – Megan’s Volunteer Experience in Quito, Ecuador

Megan recently completed our 69-day Southern Trans Oceanic trip from Quito to Rio. Before the trip she spent a month in Quito, Ecuador, learning Spanish at a local language school and took part in a volunteer project at a Foundation on the outskirts of the city for orphaned children. Here is her account of her experience:

  I’ve always wanted the opportunity to volunteer so when Oasis was recommended to me and they offered some really good looking projects I was quick to find out more. NIKE TANJUN All the lovely people in the Oasis office were incredibly helpful, making the project and Spanish school fit in before my trip. Maglie Minnesota Timberwolves I arriveAtahualpa Spanish Schoold in Quito, Ecuador on the morning of the 17th of May and was taken from the airport to my apartment in the Atahualpa Spanish School in the centre of the city. I stayed there for two weeks having Spanish lessons Monday to Friday in the morning and then in the afternoons being taken around the city by my teacher. I had my own personal tour guide for two weeks! Luismila was incredibly patient with me and was a fab teacher; I could speak no Spanish when I arrived, but by the end of my time there I had a basic knowledge and understanding of the language, and I was even able to partake in day to day conversations. From the school I moved 25km out of the city to the Aliñambi Children’s Foundation for my two-week volunteer placement. The Foundation is really well set up for volunteers, with an apartment that sleeps up to seven, two bathrooms and a kitchen – I was the only one occupying it at the time! But for the most important bit, the kids, I would have happily camped on the field to spend an extra week with them. Womens Air Jordan 13 Megan at the FoundationAliñambi can house up to 24 children, between 0 to 16, both boys and girls. Two ladies, who they call ‘Tia’ (Aunt), live full time with them. There is also a school on site that many of the children in the surrounding area come to, as well as the ones in the foundation. A typical day looked a little like this: I got down to the kitchen for 6am to help prepare breakfast with some of the older girls. I’d eat with the kids and was then in charge of washing up. Once that was done I’d head off to school at 7.30am. I was in the class with the littlest ones (5-8 year olds) helping with their Spanish, Maths, Sciences and PE. GS Air Jordan 5 I would play with all of them at break time, try and learn some of their games, join in with the imaginary play and they would try and teach me more Spanish! School would finish at 12.30. I would go and help serve lunch, eat with them all and then wash up. The afternoon was homework and free play – I participated in more football than I had in my lifetime in those two weeks! Foundation, Quito I was working closely with the two youngest that lived there: Michaela and Francisco. Michaela has Downs Syndrome and Francisco is incredibly shy so both had a tendency to play alone and not get involved. My task was to play with them and involve them as much as possible. Nike KD 9 I quickly learnt their favourite games; puzzles, memory games and cards! The evening was then shower time followed by dinner. I helped to shower Michaela and then ran down to serve dinner. Todd Gurley Georgia Football Jerseys I ate with them all, washed up and then had an hour or so to myself. adidas neo I’d then go and say goodnight to them all and rather quickly after I was on my way to bed as well! Whilst it soundsMegan looking triumphant on the Inca Trail like a fairly mundane day, I had the time of my life and would have happily stayed for much longer. I was humbled daily by the simplistic way of living, the lack of personal possessions, the absent family but the unstoppable happiness and smiles that constantly graced their faces. kanken baratas Being somewhere and knowing you’re making a difference to people’s lives is undeniably rewarding, but just spending time with them was a blessing in itself. fjallraven kanken soldes Having to leave was absolutely heartbreaking but I definitely plan on going back. I would highly recommend it to everyone – there is no chance you could regret it.

  Thanks to Megan for taking the time to write about her time in Quito and for all of her valuable time and efforts at the Foundation. If you’d like to make a difference in Ecuador you can do the same either before or after your Oasis trip. Get in touch with us at E-Mail Oasis Overland for more information.

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