Hey from Quito!
All of the alumni arrived yesterday, and as you can see in the picture below, Anna's all decked out in her MIT gear for the welcoming. Yes, she is indeed wearing three name tags.
While we are in Quito, we are working towards preparing ourselves with the background knowledge and skills needed for when we travel to Tena. This means getting familiar with the context of Ecuador, learning more about our community service partner Kallari, and most importantly, learning each other's names. One of the things we are most excited about is the technology transfer of the corn sheller (pictured at the bottom of the blog on alovely ghanian skirt that Anna brought here!) We have been preparing for a community workshop for the 21 indigenous farming areas in which Kallari works. We plan to do some creative capacity building with a fun ice breaker, teaching about the corn sheller and its function, some critical thinking sessions about how to improve the sheller, a nutritional stint, and then a nice LUNCH!
Wait a minute, hold your breath. What?! That's a ton of stuff to fit into one day. And believe me, some of the alumni have been feeling the overwhelming rush as the ol' MIT firehose comes shooting back with loads of seemingly contextless information (thank you to Joe Levitch for throwing the MIT terminology out there). Remember that feeling? Course ya do.
So tomorrow, we will be focusing on giving everyone more direction, understanding how it all fits together, and how we can really focus on service to make a lasting difference.
The better question is.. how lasting can the difference be if our experts will only be here for a week?