Service Trip to Ecuador

This week’s blog comes from Noah, a CLC camper who travelled abroad to do service work:

 

My name is Noah, and I have been a camper at CLC for 4 summers. I was excited when I was asked to write for CLC’s blog about my recent travels with my middle school. I had an amazing opportunity to go all the way to Ecuador. We went to the Equator, to help build a school in a mountain village, and visit the Galapagos Islands.

First, we visited the Equator. Here we learned about how they discovered the equator itself. It turns out, there are many interesting properties only present on the Equator. It is the only place on Earth where you balance an egg on the tip of a nail and it won’t fall off! Also, the strength of it’s magnetic force is so powerful that you can not walk in a straight line with your eyes closed, because gravity will pull you off balance to one side or the other. It’s g-force is so strong, that hurricanes, tsunamis, and other storms can never touch it! The last cool thing I learned is that water drains clockwise above the equator and counter-clockwise below. On the equator itself, water goes straight down the drain.

Next, we went to the village of Sablog, Ecuador, with an elevation of nearly 14,000 feet. Here our primary job was to help build a school for this tiny mountain village, that doesn’t even have a clean water source. (Another project to be completed there is a community well.) I hauled bricks and bent rebar. As a group, we completed three walls of the school before we had to leave. While in the mountains, I became challenged with altitude sickness. I took a break and prayed. The thought that came to me was that I am the true image of God, and that nothing can take that from me. This wasn’t the true me, or any of us, and God doesn’t see it in me, so I don’t either! In no time, I was back working with my friends.

Before returning home, we took a side trip to the Galapagos Islands. The colors in the water alone were so vibrant and awe inspiring. We had the opportunity to snorkel, where we saw a sea turtle the first day, and I played fetch with a wild sea lion the next day. I will never forget that! The giant tortoises were even bigger than I expected, and I thought the blue-footed boobies were about the cutest birds I’ve ever seen. But even they can’t hold a candle to baby sea lions who are the most adorable things on Earth!

I think the thing I’m most grateful for was the bonding that happened with my group. We really became a true family. We had a few mis-haps that really helped us come together, like both our bus and then later our boat breaking down and stranding us for hours out to sea. Now I have my family at home, my Ecuador family, and of course, my camp family too!

 

 

 

Thanks for sharing, Noah! If you or anyone you know is interested in writing a blog for CLC, please contact zoe@crystallakecamps.org!