Weeks ago we hosted four different groups of spring break
volunteers. One of the most
rewarding aspects of working here in Ecuador for MPI is to see how this
experience can affect the individuals on the trip, even after their service
work is completed. Luckily for us,
we have more volunteers coming in the summer months.
Morgan Lowery was the trip leader for UGA’s spring service
trip and decided that one week with MPI Ecuador was not sufficient. That is why we will be seeing her again
come May as a Summer Intern.
Please read her blog below to see how the experience here with MPI has
brought her back for more!
|After our frigid plunge from the waterfall at Molinuco.|
Making plans for breaks from
school may seem like a fairly simple task, but it can be somewhat difficult
with the many choices now available to students. When spring break comes
around you’re expected to go to the beach and soak up the UV rays and possibly
engage in some questionable behavior. Up next is the all important summer
break. Summer plans are perhaps my least favorite to make. There is
the constant pressure from your parents and advisor to do something that
relates to your major and what you’ll be doing the rest of your life or to get
ahead by getting those lower level classes out of the way. So you could
listen to what everyone tells you and do the “right” thing or you could do
something way more rewarding like I did over spring break and will be doing
|The UGA group with brand new signs!|
What did I do for my breaks you may ask? Well, thankfully, making plans
for spring break were much easier than they have been in the past. Having
been on a spring break trip to MPI Guatemala the previous year, I applied to be
a trip leader for the Ecuador spring break trip, and, much to my excitement, I
got it! So I spent my spring break in Ecuador along with seven other
girls from UGA helping the MPI with the advertising they do for the community
center. With the money we raised we were able to buy and a brand new,
professionally made sign to go outside of the community center and refurbish
other signs advertising the programs offered by the center. While we
weren’t working on our group project we were helping with the programs like
English classes, art classes, and hanging out in the teen center.
One experience I had that I found interesting was the adult English class I sat
in on. To me, a three-hour class is enough to make me have second thoughts, not
to mention it was on Saturday morning. However, I’ve never seen a more
eager to learn group of people. The adults that attend English classes come
on their own accord and take time out of their day to study all in addition to
their jobs and taking care of their families. This was truly inspiring to
me because it’s a serious struggle for me to make it to my classes while being
a student is the only job I have. The people that attend the class don’t
come because someone else requires them to, but because they see it as a chance
to make a better life for themselves and their families. It’s hard for me
to picture myself tacking on another 5 or so hour commitment to my already
hectic schedule that might slightly increase my chances of getting into
graduate school. It was cool to see that MPI doesn’t force the help they
offer onto the community they serve. The people of the community want to
change their lives as well and they are willing to work for it. I could
really see the idea of sustainable change at work. This is just one of
the many reasons I love MPI and the people it serves.
This experience along with many others is why I decided to return to Ecuador
for a four-week summer internship with MPI. I don’t know what exactly I
will be doing yet, but I know whatever it is it will be something truly
worthwhile and life changing for both the people of the community and me.
In addition to the work I’ll be doing, I can’t wait to experience more of the
Ecuadorian culture and spending more time with the MPI team. I can
confidently say that this summer will be one to remember, but hopefully I won’t
be slowed down by food poisoning this time. It’ll be okay if I do though,
because, as we proved over spring break, no one knows how to rally better than
a UGA student.
So on that note I’ll say goodbye and go dawgs!
Hopefully you all will be hearing from me again sometime soon!
If you or someone you know is interested in spending a week, a month, or a whole year working with MPI Ecuador, please visit the home website for more information about getting involved, applying for the Program Director position, and much more!
As always, thank you for checking in!
All the best,