Volunteer Work in Ecuador

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Volunteer Experiences

Heidi Olson
Volunteering at Fundacion Jesus Divino Preso (Page 1)

02-May-06

Well everyone, I'm safely in my new home here in Ecuador. First of all, I'm so sorry It's taken me this long to write. I've been searching for an internet cafe around here, and have found a pretty good one.

I can't believe how much I've seen and experienced already. I've seen the great craft markets that Ecuador is famous for. Cotacachi is famous for their leather...it was awsome to see so many vendors and so many crafts. I also visited what used to be one of the most active volcanos in Ecuador, but is now filled with water! This place has no vegetation or animals living inside the body of water. It's said that this lake is bottomless (Lago Cuicocha)! I've also been to the Mitad del Mundo. This is the official site for the Ecuator line. It was awsome.

My stay with the foundation Jesus Divino Preso is slowly taking It's corse. I have never been more intimidated in my life. Here is a place where not only running water, but hot water, and electricity are such a privilage. Every time I jump in the shower, I pray that the water doesn't turn off while my hair is soapy!! I can't believe I've traded in my high heels, hairspray, and makeup for tennis shoes, jeans and t-shirts!! My thirteen year old roomate is a hoot.

This young girl doestn't stop asking questions or poking and prodding at my stuff, but she means well. I live in a house where four young teenage boys share a room across the hall from me, and a fifty year old man (Tio Luis) has his own room next to the boys' room.

Luis is the most incredible man I have met in a long time. He's experienced soooooo much and chose to care for these kids for the rest of his life.....I admire him a lot.

I was really sick two days ago. I had the highest fever I've had in years, and the biggest cold I've had ever. I drank the water out of the foset, and thought this was the problem. Turns out, every single visitor that eneters this place gets sick this way. They told me I have been blessed, and am ready to do what I came here to do!!

I'm in charge of the extracurricular activities for these children. The only thing that they are adiment about keeping in futbol (soccer) of course! My very first day teaching these kids an art project, all hell broke lose! I wasn't able to handle them as well as I had thought.

Picture a normal child, and add 3 times the constant moving, screaming, and crazyness....then you have to imagine twenty of these kids at the same time. I was pulling my hair out of my head! No worries, the more I got to know them, the easier it got. Now I've pretty much memorized all of their names, and they have more respect for me as well.

All in all, I can tell It's going to be a great six months here. I miss everyone back home, and can't wait to see you guys when I come back. I'll try to keep up with the e-mails, I promise!!

Much love,
Heidi!!

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