This past weekend we packed up our best jungle attire and headed east for our 3rd Manna Ecua company retreat in Tena, a small city that sits on the bordered of the Amazon rainforest.
Our first afternoon/evening was spent discussing program monitoring and management. We looked at how different methods and algorithms can be used to determine strengths and weaknesses of our programs and site overall. It was great to come together and identify things that we have constantly done well and things that we can improve upon as we continue to grow as NGO here in Ecuador.
|Discussing strengths, weaknesses, risks and opportunities of Manna |
|Carryn reading our strengths and weaknesses |
On Sunday, our second day, we took a break from discussion, jumped in the back of a camioneta, and headed to the river for some white water fun. It had rained all night and the water level was really high which made for some excellent rapids and our guides definitely made sure we had a good time making our way down river. For lunch we pulled off to the side of the river and ate lunch at a local's house. The gave us tradition tea, taught us a little about the surrounding vegetation, and trekked with us to a near by waterfall. It was a really fun day, with only a few spills out of the boat!
|Las chicas de la selva|
Sunday night we played a great game, introduced to us by our new CD, Fred, in which we simulated the monthly spendings/earnings of a small business. It is a great tool that will definitely be used by some of our programs, such as Small Business Development, in the future.
|Business #1, tracking finances |
Monday we woke up early and headed a half hour away to monkey beach, where a band of monkeys runs free, occasionally stealing the hat of an unlucky passerby. It was a wonderful morning of monkey photos and bathing in the sand on the beach.
|Tena sunsets |
|Hanging out on monkey beach |
After our excitement filled, yet relaxing retreat, we are geared up for our fourth quarter of English classes which began yesterday with Children's English and tonight with Adult's English! Let the new, and final semester begin!