Monday student thoughts

Abby Fribush:

Hey everyone! Today the team and I had our first full day in Misahualli, and it was clear that nerves were getting to most of the group; the newcomers were coming in with no experience while the “veterans” were coming in with certain expectations, so anxiety was flooding our hostel during breakfast.

At around 7:45 in the morning, we load up into our bus and ride up Antioquia, the school we will be at for the next few days. Stepping onto the campus was truly a surreal moment—as someone who has been to Ecuador two years in a row prior to this trip, looking at the school’s advancements over the past year was an incredible feeling.

After a few minutes of preparation and orientation, we split into our groups and headed towards our classrooms. As I was walking towards the classroom, I hear my name in the distance. I see none other than the amazing Gustavo, a kid I met last year that I keep in contact with through WhatsApp. He ran towards me and gave me a huge hug, completely reinstating my confidence and excitement for the week.

Just as Gustavo heads back into the classroom, I hear a myriad of high-pitched voices shouting my name. “Abby!” comes from the entire sixth grade classroom as they run out of their classroom to greet me. This moment, this one moment, was worth the whole trip.

Throughout the rest of the day, my teammates and I connected with kids in our respective classes. I was assigned to the fifth-grade class and reconnected with one of the girls I met the first year, Keyra, and my child that I sponsor, Fabian.

It is always surprising how much these kids have an effect over me. Although most do not live in the luxury, they are still such beautiful lights with full hearts, and I am honored and privileged to know them.

Thank you all for reading and keeping updated with our blogs. I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say that we are having a wonderful experience and appreciate all your support!

Brittany Grigorian:

Hey! Today was our first day working and teaching at the school, and it was such a fulfilling experience to be able to interact and have fun with the kids. I have been working with the 4th grade students who aren’t completely fluent in English yet, so it was cool to communicate with them in Spanish and English. I think it’s so amazing that all these kids are so accepting of mission teams like us even though we are not there for a long time. They love on everyone! I can’t wait to see the connections that I have made with the students a few days from now! Another part of today I really enjoyed was construction because I really loved to see and hear everyone encouraging each other and working hard. I was wheelbarrowing rocks and cement, and it was very satisfying to see the progress we made throughout the work session. Lastly, I LOVED worship. There’s something about being outside all in a circle that makes it seem so natural, raw, and even more beautiful than normal. I love looking around the circle while I’m playing the guitar and seeing everyone so deeply invested in worshipping in their own way. That’s it from me! Can’t wait for you guys to hear more fun stories from this week! Adios!

Emory Malone:

Hey y’all! Today was our first day working with the kids at the school in Misahualli and it was awesome! Something that stuck out to me involved one of the kids I was paired with to teach. He’s a sweet little 4th grade boy named Andre, and he was assigned to read a book about the aquarium. After we finished reading, he had extra time and began doodling. He drew the sweetest picture of all the sea creatures he read about. He also wrote down all their names in English, which he’s really good at by the way :). I asked him what some of them were called in Spanish and he got really excited to get a chance to teach me. He wrote out all the Spanish names and let me take the sheet home so I could learn them. I can’t wait to teach Andre more this week and for him to teach me!

Another thing that has been a big part of this week so far, for me, is worship. I’ve been leading worship with Hayley and Brittany and we’ve had a blast. Planning out songs, practicing, and actually carrying out an incredible night of worship is so rewarding. Knowing that I am a part of something crucial to our experience in Misahualli is so uplifting and it keeps me motivated! I’m so pumped to share more stories and pictures with y’all! Thank you so much for your love, prayers, and support ❤

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