While it rained, our second day at Amor y Esperanza was a beautiful success. Learning from trial and error from the first day, as we gathered for lunch for some fantastic burritos, the team was expressing how great today was and how much the kids enjoyed the math lessons. After building relationships with the kids and getting to know more and more about them we quickly became comfortable with our legendary Spanish/Math skills. Before the 2 hour math class Mr. David Gray Sir prepared a game for the kids and not only were the kids loving every second but they had these radiant smiles that you don’t see often. Luckily for us, we got to participate in the game along with the kids’ teachers. After sadly departing from the kids, we drove a whopping 3 minutes to the construction site where the new Amor y Esperanza will be. We then split up into three groups. The first group went upstairs and took care of beam work, on top of scaffolds. The second group got to take care of the “yard” work by pulling out weeds. Then the third group was in charge of building the new classrooms by putting wet cement and placing the cinder blocks on top, row by row. Upon arriving at the compound, the boys (plus Alyssa) were challenged to an intense soccer game against the “Ecuadorians” (Danny, Joshua, Jesus, Mateo, and Pancho himself). The USA/Cuban International Elite Soccer Team put up a good fight, but after losing 23 to 8, we met in the center of the field and did something quite astonishing. Led by Pancho, we all held hands in a circle and prayed, which is something rare to see in a game of any sport. Finally, to conclude our unforgettable day we finished with Devo, which was nothing less than breathtaking. The vulnerability and willingness that everyone was able to show not only moved us but changed us. Being able to relieve the amount of pressure and burden we choose to ignore in our day to day life, finally surfaced and brought comfort in the idea that God has everything under control, and loves us immensely. This trip never ceases to amaze us, there truly is no low to each day. We love and miss all of you.
Amanda, Jessica, & Ryan