a note from Alicia...
Let me start off by saying that as much as I'd love you to come with me to Ecuador, it may be in your best interest not to. Here is why:
1. It will distort your perception of the world! Seeing it through the plastic lenses of our society is sufficient. They may be distorted, but you are used to them! Participating in this trip may mess you up. unnecessarily.
2. You will experience sadness you haven't felt before. After you see real suffering, you won't pay much attention to complaining about how hard you've got it. You are even liable to feel guilty and uncomfortable about the nice things in your house and the food on your table. If you stay home you may not ever realize how fortunate you really are and, therefore, you can continue life as you know it.
3. You could feel compelled to do something— I can't guarantee exactly how this trip will affect you but I can tell you that some of the team members I have taken to other third world countries have spent a considerable amount of time returning to those countries. Myself included. Going to a place like Ecuador may put a burden on your shoulder additional to the ones you currently carry. If you don't like to feel compelled to change circumstances, you may not want to go.
But if you aren't too worried about those things then I would LOVE for you to join. :) We will spend the majority of the first day traveling and spending the night in Quito.. The rest of the trip will be spent working with Karissa from Bless an Orphan on teaching the children English and practical life lessons, playing with them, and doing some minor construction on the orphanage. This particular Orphanage has a home for about 40 children ages 6-12 and this month they will begin caring for 6-10 babies and toddlers in the mission house that we will be staying at. While there we will also be going to some villages to deliver food and clothing to kids who don't have access to either of those. While visiting these villages we will likely play some fun games with the kids and maybe do some English lessons. We will also spend one day installing a water well to provide a village with clean water (a HUGE issue in many third world countries). Lastly, we will have a day off to relax and enjoy the touristy parts of Ecuador. Karissa and I have some AWESOME activities planned for that day.
The cost of the trip is $1600 and that includes everything from the time we depart to when we land again so the only "extras” you have to worry about is getting to the airport (most likely JFK) and spending/souvenir money while in Ecuador. If finances will be a bit of a challenge for you then I have some ideas that other team members have used in the past to help offset the cost of the trip.
To join the team you will have to fill out an application, so that I have some basic knowledge of what abilities and limitations the team members have. It is important to me that each team member knows that the team was carefully put together, so as to get the best experience out of it for everyone. :)
I really hope you are willing and able to join me in Ecuador. It's going to be an amazing time!