Today we woke up late. Our morning started with a garbage truck disguised as an ice cream truck – at a very early hour. It was difficult explaining to our host mom that we were running late, but she bagged up our biscuits and packed us some pineapple in a Tupperware for us to take. As we began walking down the path to the cancha, we heard yelping. We turn around to find Chucho/Pretzel (the puppy) being attacked by our family dogs. We call him to us, and I carried him all the way down to the cancha in my rain coat. When we arrived, the rest of the group was already there. We began our trek to Periacillo, the school where we teach. The music class that Casey, Logan and I taught went well. We did vocal warm-ups, which seemed to get the students out of their comfort zone a little bit. Then, we worked on the English-Spanish translation of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", or "El León Duerme". We sang it together and the students seemed to have got it – at least the "weem-o-weh" part.  

The second class we sit in on and help McKinley with her students learning recorder songs. It was wild to say the least, and loud. During recess, I played with Oso, one of the dogs that hangs out with us from Agnolongo's "pets". Then we had lunch at the Tandana Center.  

Afterward, we went to Hacienda Perugachi, where we learned about the history of the hacienda systems in this area. We learned about the racial, social, economic and cultural hierarchies that existed and continue to exist today. We also learned that the hacienda systems were set up almost identically to the way plantations existed in the United States during the time of slavery, hearing how the people doing the work on haciendas were exploited, abused and seen as less than their "superiors". This gave us perspective on the governmental and economic systems in Ecuador, as well as providing social/cultural insight into the history of all our families who have been affected by this in some way.  

The evening continued on in thought of all the things I will never know about history and all of the people who have been manipulated during it. It is a helplessness that feels selfish. Because we cannot "fix" everything that is "wrong" in the world. And who are we to say we could even try? But it is important for some reason, and that reason is people. 

Brisa