Nine PDs and Bibi rolled up to the Casa Barrial last Saturday afternoon, after spending the morning picking up trash for the minga. The fanfare was significantly smaller than that of Washington DC last January, but it was exciting nonetheless. We shared the room with presidents from several neighboring barrios, presidents of the major bus companies, and a representative from Sangolqui. In the speeches given by Mr. Vilane and several community members, we (the "senoritas" of Manna Project... sorry about that, boys...) were thanked repeatedly for the work that we have done and continue to do in Rumiloma. One man said he has been living in another barrio for over 10 years, but that he is seriously considering moving to Rumiloma because of the numerous unique opportunities that exist here - including our library.
The short ceremony ended less than 1.5 hours later, after a free almuerzo (that I actually ate) and a lot of "Que le vaya bien's" to each of the people sitting at the front of the room (it's Ecuadorian custom that you greet and/or say goodbye to everyone in the room). As we jumped back onto the bus and set off for our various Saturday night activities, I (at least) felt a sense of contentment about what we are doing in Rumiloma and our surrounding communities. It was nice to be reassured that we are making an impact.
Thanks for checking in! Off to the biblioteca and Women's Exercise! (It's aerobics night... lots of squats... ay.)
(the President is the one with the tie... and you can see Erik's blond head over to the right)
Bibi gives her impromptu speech
PPS. Check out our new and improved (i.e. updated) Amazon Wishlist link to the right!