Officially Volunteers

June 14, 2007 - Quito, Ecuador

Since my last update, I am now officially a voluntaria, instead of just an aspirante – a trainee. We had our swearing-in ceremony on April 20th, after spending a week in Quito, recuperating from the cold campo Cayambe climate (pretty nice alliteration, huh). But pictures are more fun than words, so here we go:

For the first time since leaving the States for most of us, we all bathed and actually put some effort into our looks that morning and piled onto a bus to take us to the ambassador’s house.

After singing both the US and Ecuadorian national anthem, we listened to an introduction by our Habitat Conservation boss, Kerry.

Then the big boss gave us a final talking to, reminding us to be good little volunteers and stay under his radar.

Then the ambassador gave a heartfelt speech, bringing even herself to tears.

Enter John Wilson, with the translation help of Jason K and Vargas, giving his fellow volunteers a few words of wisdom.

Then Steve, with grace and poise, looking like an eyeglasses model, addressed his fellow volunteers as well.

And then yours truly, on my lovely ebay violin, played some good ol Bach.

And wrapping up the musical section, Jeremy plucked out an amazing piece on the guitar.

Then, after swearing our lives away to who knows what for the next two years, we each got little certificates reminding us of what we just signed up for. And we got to shake hands with the ambassador. Look there’s me!

And that was pretty much all of the formalities. Here’s the whole group… 39 of us in all, at the time.

As beautiful and touching as the ceremony was, the best part, by far, was the bagels. You don’t realize what three months without bagels will do to you until it actually happens. Boy those bagels came just in time.

Here’s the Cariacu gang one last time before parting.

Before changing to head over to a BBQ at the big boss’s house, Laura, Stephanie, and I went up on the roof for our own little photo shoot with a Quito backdrop.

Then we took another bus over the well fenced-in house of our Country Director, Cisco, for a BBQ and some football (American style) in his lawn.

With complementary Pilsener…Ecuador’s finest, not to mention only, beer.

Some more flowery words from the jefe
and off we were to celebrate the night, dancing our hearts out in some club in the middle of Quito.




June 15, 2007
Yeah! An update! I was thirsting for some news of your adventures:) It sounds like it was a beautiful & moving ceremony. I especially like the pictures of you dancing on the roof the best! That is SO Anna! Please update again soon to tell us about your experiences in Cuenca too.

May God bless you, keep you safe, & bring great joy to you & others as you work together. And may God send more bagels soon too:) We miss you at Bethany! With love & prayers>,
July 26, 2007
you're still alive. good good. we were talking about you at vbc last week and erik was saying how hilarious it would be if when we were calling your name you emerged out of the woods by church. way to not step up anna!;) i love you so much and i miss you!
September 4, 2007
Hey Anna! I'm not sure how often you check out your guestbook but I did want to tell you that we have a new family member named......Anna! Yes, she is black and white, small and furry and has a bit of the "Don King" hair thing going on! Yes, she is a cute, little guinea pig so we speak your name around here often! We love you and we all miss you a lot! We can't wait to see you again soon! Love, the Thompsons...p.s. Chelsea just loves Anna too, and is like a protective little sister... and cries when she can't see her
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