Friday, October 22, 2010

Final Day in Ecuador...

Final Day, October 22, 2010

I can’t believe this adventure is over. What a fantastic time I’ve had with this wonderful team!

We board the big bus at the usual time. We’re one less on the team now since Joanne left to go home to Hawaii Thursday night. Six left, or eight really since Carl and Sylvia have been working right alongside of us for many of the work days.

We knew it would be a short day so on arrival at center #2, Bill, Steve Fox, and I got straight to work on the baby changing table. We are learning to make do with what is available as far as materials and tools. Somehow, the table comes together and we hear later from Carl that tia Patti is very pleased with how it turned out. She can now have a sort of “changing assembly line” upstairs in the baby room.

Cora and tia Patti shed a few tears as Cora prepared to leave. With so many babies to care for, Patti understandably is overwhelmed and will miss Cora’s capable hands to assist.

At center #1, Kathleen and Carol helped prepare their charges for the farewell ceremony that would happen at 11 am. Some children are dressed in traditional Ecuadorian outfits, others in skeleton outfits or hats.

The whole team, along with Carl and Sylvia, arrived at Center #1 for the big send off. There were many dances and songs including one performed by the team. “The Wheels on the Bus” sung in Spanish and including all the motions was a big hit with the kids. Gifts were passed out for all the team members.

Everyone had a laugh as Steve Fox and Carl were pulled up by the tias to do a dance.

After many hugs and goodbyes, we again boarded the bus for our trip back to Quito. We stopped at a local mall to enjoy a lunch in the food court. Dinner was at a barbeque restaurant where we ate way too much but enjoyed each other’s company for the last time.

Bill, Cora and I left for the airport at 9 pm for an 11:30pm flight. The flight was delayed until nearly 1am so all were exhausted by the time we boarded. Bill and I ran immediately after landing in Atlanta leaving Cora in the security line trying desperately to make to our connection. We made it by minutes and were left wondering if Cora made her connection that was supposed to leave ten minutes after ours.

Steve Fox was to leave Saturday morning and Carol and Kathleen were off to the Galapagos on Monday.

I will remember this trip for my fellow team members, the gracious Ecuadorian people, the wonderful leadership of Carl Granger, and of course, those cute kids.

Thought for the day: I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. ~George Bernard Shaw

Submitted by Jane Sauther