Study Abroad

Clearing the Mountain

May 29, 2018

This morning we were greeted after breakfast with a tractor ride. We were headed off to help a family who had their house built a couple years ago by other Lasell Students. We went to her property of land, enclosed between two mountain sides, and covered with chopped down trees and bushes. Her family wanted to begin farming so that they could make money by selling at local markets. We scaled the mountain sides and began clearing debris, wielding machetes to cut down the branches into more reasonable sizes, and then carried logs from the mountain back to the tractor. It was another rainy day, so we slid a few times down the mountain sides, and through the mud. Even though it was messy again we had fun and laughed with each other when we fell. We were basically adults playing in mud while we worked.

Lasell students in Ecuador

Students also were able to spend a lot of time with the children of the family. The young girls were very adventurous, outgoing and ready to lend a helping hand. They put our own abilities at climbing the mountain and cutting trees with machetes to shame, and they weren't even over 12 years old. The day was a great experience, and although the work was hard, it was rewarding to see how much we had cleared out. When we got back most of us enjoyed our first hot showers since leaving Pachamama, which was a gift within itself. You don't know how much you take for granted until you have to live without it.

After we cleaned up, everyone got dressed up to go out in Guaranda and out to dinner. We saw some historic sites, and ended up having grilled cheeses for dinner at a quaint little restaurant across from a pond. The night was again filled with laughter, and students danced with each other until late into the night.

Lasell students in Ecuador