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The number ten stands out to me: it represents the amount of days I was a proud member of a Global Village team. On behalf of Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, my seventeen teammates and I left the biting Minnesota January weather for the sweltering heat of Puerto Ángel, México—a Pacific fishing village in the state of Oaxaca. We excitedly absorbed our host culture, witnessed magnificent sites, and met fascinating people during our week and a half in the tranquil town. But what I remember most is digging trenches, mixing cement, and tying rebar under 90+ degree heat and hellacious humidity. My teammates and I spent most of our time working alongside local residents to build the foundation of a house for a family in need. It was an extremely gratifying trip; ten days I will always remember.

Published in involved
Sunday, 28 September 2008

Itching for Ingapirca

I had to get out of Cuenca. The six days of entrance exams (prospective students at my language school had to take an oral/written placement test prior to course registration) that I had just endured left me exhausted. I couldn’t bear to look at another language book or study guide – I needed a break. In my desperate search for a sound mind, I set out that Saturday morning in early January with two goals set before me: leave behind the frustrating Christmas vacation duties at Centros de Estudios Interamericanos (CEDEI) and make my first trip to the Cañar province. The Cañar province was a tiny, mountainous region just north of Cuenca. It held Ecuador’s most notable set of ruins, Ingapirca, and I was more than ready to make the trip.

Published in interchange

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