RSIS Big Build Ecuador: Having a whale of a time
Posted: 20 July 2018
Student blog update
By: Obi, Aryan, Julia, Georgia and Olivia
Today was the first day that all five groups would be combined, leading to the 49 of us all working together at the multi-use centre. We knew that today was going to be a chaotic day because of the large number of people at a single site filling the floor of the multi-use centre with concrete. Even so, we all marched to breakfast with our spirits high excited to devour French toast and cereal.
Motivated by the prospect of finishing work before lunch, all groups worked extremely hard to make the seven mammoth batches of cement, which can be a gruelling task. Even though we were all exhausted and famished, we agreed to push lunch back by an hour to complete the job. With the music blasting and motivating us, we pushed on and the sense of community among the fifty of us became very evident. This decision was crucial, as it allowed the maestros to finish the floor as soon as possible. Despite the cement batches required increasing in number, we surprisingly finished the job and got a well-deserved afternoon off to relax and socialise.
The day was tough, but it was very rewarding to see the finished floor.
After a lunch of chicken sandwiches, we raced outside to play football and frisbee with the local children. As some of the children played with a frisbee for the first time, they improved very quickly which surprised us all. The afternoon off was very useful, as it allowed us to catch up with our friends and prepare for the next day.
After dinner, we got into our five groups and reflected on the day with our adult leaders and everyone agreed that working together made the task more enjoyable.
Student blog update
By: Yvana, Natasha, Annissa and Sadeen
Today was a welcome break from hard work after yesterday’s long hours of working with cement. We started the day off learning how to lay bricks – a detailed process – for the multi-use centre’s walls. Others took it upon themselves to put the final touches on features of the children’s centre. Naturally, the workload was light compared to the previous days. Surprisingly, leadership was more challenging to keep everyone motivated and focused.
Everyone had the chance to engage in a coffee making activity which included a walk to local coffee trees and an observation of Puerto Rico’s traditional coffee bean roasting technique – a unique process which involves adding sugar towards the end of the coffee roast. Afterwards, we were treated to a delicacy frequently enjoyed by the locals: roasted plantain with goat’s cheese.
After chatting in our groups and reflecting on our day, we headed downstairs for a student favourite: banana milkshakes and homemade blackberry juice. We readied ourselves for our exciting excursion tomorrow by packing our bags for the early day ahead.
Student blog update
By: Natalie, Annissa, Charlotte and Alberte
We had a very early start today as we prepared ourselves for an epic day of snorkelling and hiking.
We woke up at 5:15 and left the camp at 6:30. Firstly, we arrived at the fishing dock to catch the ferry boats in Puerto Lopez. On the long hour and half boat ride, we had the chance to see humpback whales and even some dolphins.
When we arrived at the island, Isla de la Plata, known for its diverse population of birds, we were excited to start hiking. With help from tour guides, we were able to go on a two-hour hike around the island and saw many species, for example, the blue-footed boobie, the frigate bird, and many more. At the time, many of these birds were in mating season so we got to see babies and couples. We also saw many different parts of the island and some beautiful views.
After the hike, we ate lunch on the boats and started to make our way towards the reef where we snorkelled. We saw a variety of fish, and even some sea turtles, eels, sting rays, and octopi.
Proceeding this, we made our way, on the boats, back to the fishing docks while stopping to see whales again. After the ride back, we were given an hour and a half to shop along the beach, where we all scored some great souvenirs and enjoyed an ice cream.
Next, we made our way back to Camp Costa for dinner, where we had fried rice with vegetables. As the leaders, we found it was quite a relaxing day to lead the groups and we had a great time.