Dia Diez

Today my morning in shift was in the wonderful Milagros! I love that Casa! I worked with Hailey, one of my favorites. Milagros always gives me good stories!

So the boy I played soccer with at the very beginning always sits and announces imaginary soccer games. So today he was announcing a game about him being on gwa gwa’s team. Gwa gwa is another girl here’s baby doll. You had to be there.

Then another one of the Milagros boys was leaning against the window sill and his pants fell off. He was just chillin’ in his diaper.

Then another boy who has severe autism threw his colada on the ground and it went everywhere. Then he shoved Hailey into me. He is known for always smacking you in the stomach when you least expect it.

One of the boys also taught me how to make a friendship bracelet and it’s a hot mess, but he is making me finish it for him. Cool story bro. Haha

My second shift was spent off site at Azogous. It is another orphanage that makes OSSO’s look super nice. We spent it cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms. There were ants everywhere and the kids had lice. Sketchy!

Also when we got done cleaning we had some extra time where we got to play with the kids. We pretty much just sang songs with them and played a Spanish duck duck goose. There was a girl there who was blind and she came up and wrapped her arms around my waist and . had me help lead her everywhere.

Tonight I cooked cinnamon rolls and crescent rolls for everyone! I doubled the batch and it was so much! Everyone was really excited though. It is funny, when anyone wants to eat what you are making they volunteer to help. I got a lot of helpers. Haha tonight we also had a Nacho Libre movie party. I skipped out and a bunch of us went for a walk around the orphanage.

We also decided our mural idea, don’t worry I will give you updates. I am really excited that u get to be a part of one!

Sorry this is so short! Chao.

Bread dough x 10image RollsimageCinnamon Rolls

Dia Nueve

Everyone minus Hailey and Kati: Amber, Jacie(flower hat), Megan, me, Nicole, Nik, tour guide for hike, Madie(blue), Hannah, Logan(holding the stick), Shawni(left of Logan),Heather(in the black)imageContinental Divide
image imageThe leaf was as big as my hand..actually bigger.
Me, Madie, Jacie, Nicole, Hannah at the top of the falls!
image imageOn the way back we walked through a rock to get to the start!imageAt the bottom we got hommade hot chocolate, and it was so AMAZING!
image Jacie, Madie, Hannah, Amber, me, Shawni, Heather, Nicole, Logan imageLogan and I. At the end of the hike after we ate we were waiting around to leave so we decided to start walking down the road and wait for the bus to pick us up. This was on that walk.image Potato Soup!imageToday was the hike at Giron! It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! The drive was 1.5 hours. We stopped on the way at the Continental Divide. It was super cold there because the winds from Pacific and Atlantic were hitting each other.

The hike took like 3-3.5 hours, it was 5.5 miles. It was hard mostly because of the altitude. It was pretty hard to breathe. The whole time I was dying to have dad there because he would have loved it! Don’t worry I got him a rock from the top! 😊

On the way to the top it was muddy and rainy and Nik fell down the hill while taunting a cow. It was so funny! Logan got a sweet video on the hike on his goPro that I will be sure to get!

For dinner, as the picture above shows, I made potato soup for everyone! It was delicious! They all loved it too. ☺️

I have more pictures to come don’t worry! Love from Ecuador. 💛💙❤️

Dia Ocho

Today was great! I went to TRINI and finally got pictures! It was so fun. We got to sing songs in English and Spanish and dance with the kids. The assistant, Kati, took our pictures while we did. The kids are adorable. As soon as we walked in they all shouted “Hola” a million times all at different times. It is so cute! The reason we could take pictures here is because it is a daycare so the gov’t doesn’t hold the rights of the children. Sorry but I really know none of the names. The volunteers in the pictures are Shawni and Amber. image image image image image imageThe drive there was really beautiful because you drive to the top of a mountain. I will show the pictures when I get home.

Here I go about food again..Catilina made the most amazing enchiladas today for lunch! I am trying to get the recipe translated to English.

After lunch I worked in Cunas. The kids there are adorable. I have found that if I don’t put everything into the kids the shift goes by a lot slower. Today I was a lot more involved with them and they were great and the shift flew by.

At Cunas we are in charge of putting the kids to bed. Tonight while I was putting one of the boys in his Cuna he kept calling me Hannah and then Nicole..I laughed and told him I was Lexi and he said, “Oh, Lesi?” I was dying. Then he grabbed my face a started kissing my cheek repeatatively and then he said “Otra” and as I was turning to the other cheek he planted one on me. So I guess you could say I finally got my first kiss! Haha

Tonight was HML, and that is definitely a handful! We decorated sugar cookies and the kids went crazy with the sugar! They kept coming up and begging for more until they eventually licked all the frosting bowls clean! Don’t worry they used their hands and then wiped them on my hoodie and in my hair. Good times!

I seriously love all the volunteers here as much as I love the kids. They are all so awesome and we have the best times together after shifts talking about worst dates, home life, and all the funny kid stories. I will definitely miss those late night chats!

Tomorrow is our field trip to Giron Falls, and I found out that next week a group of us is going zip lining!! Brace yourselves for the beautiful pictures! Love you all! 💙

Dia Siete

Okie dokie peeps! Today was good, but as always really long. I have decided that the days here are super long the nights are short and the weeks go by really quickly. It is crazy to think that I have already been here for a week!

Today my first shift was in Casas with Nicole and Nik. I have been dreading going back to Casas since the first experience there. I’ll be honest I prayed a lot to get though the shift, but I survived! It was actually really fun, today we went on a field trip to a private golf course/tennis club/pool area. It was beautiful! I wish I could take my phone to shift so I could show you pictures! Lo siento. The kids spent about an hour on a playground at the resort. All we had to do was watch them or push them in the swings. We even got a plate of scrambled eggs with ham and a juice as a snack with the kids. They also got a Kinder chocolate egg. Sadly, we didn’t get the egg and we couldn’t drink the juice because it was strawberry, (A forbidden fruit to volunteers, due to the use of HUMAN feices as fertilizer.) and the juices here are just blended fruit.

We ended up leaving the playground around 12 and the drive was about 40 min. so we were late to lunch. Good thing we get a 2 hour break!

For lunch our cook, Catilina, made us this really good cake out of these ritz cracker things and some sort of sweet milk sauce. It reminded me of tres leches. I feel like I write a lot about food…

Anyways, my second shift was at Esperanza with Megan. I would say that is one of my favorite places to volunteer, if not my favorite. The kids are fantastic and there is always something to do.

There is a girl from Esperanza that is 19, and she is one of my favorite people. She loves to swing. I have decided pushing any of the kids in swings is my favorite part of working here. They are so easily entertained and loving. This same girl will always tilt her head back and smile at me while I push her and it is the cutest!

I am also very fond of taking the kids out of their wheelchairs and holding them. I figured that out today actually. They love to be held, even if they are 15+.

Also today the Tia spanked one of the girls, in a loving/teasing way, while we were changing her. It was really funny.

Wednesday is our shopping and deep clean day at the OSSO house. My jobs were to clean the downstairs bathroom and help wash all the fruits and veggies from town. We get so many!! I love it.

I have become Heather’s shadow and I totally spend every dinner helping her cook just so I can eat something good. She is so nice to let me help and share her food! Heather is the oldest volunteer here; she is 32. However, you would never know because she is really chill and adventurous. After she is done volunteering here she is moving to Peru for a little less than a year. Her stuff is already sold and in storage! Back to food..we made this really beautiful avocado, mango, lime, red onion salad tonight. Amber also made these absolutely fabulous brownies tonight! I am surrounded by amazing cooks. I told them I will make them pizza or something before I leave.

Tomorrow I go to TRINI, the one place where I actually get pictures of the kids, so check back for those. I love and miss you all! XOXO 🚶

LunchimageThere are some workers behind our house on the OSSO site that are building the Rossero’s (the directors since 2001) house right now. They always play volleyball at lunch so I creeped and took a pic.
image Here are a the fruit and veggies that I got to wash today!imageLook at the size of those carrots!!

Dia Ses

Hello! Today was an adventure! My AM shift was in Milagros. I fed the same guy twice and he was just as giggly. It makes me laugh! I have also decided that he eats about one bite every 1-2 minutes.

At the OSSO orphanage today the therapists came to weigh and test the kids, so they say in their underwear wrapped in blankets until they were weighed in. (To get weighed in we would weigh Nik and then he would hold them while the Tias wrote down the numbers.)

After breakfast and therapy we played with sidewalk chalk. There were some drawings from the day before. Mostly outlines of all the kids bodies or their wheelchair outlines. I thought it was cute. The boy I played soccer with on my first day was drawing hearts and writing Amigos backwards all over the pavement. I think he is dyslectic..

Today one of the boys in Milagros had an ear infection and had to get a shot in his bum. Haha Nik bought him a treat for being good during his shot and he shared it with everyone.

The second oldest, (the one with the warts), was really foday too. I was in charge of feeding him his snack, and he has to walk in order to get it. He has cerebral palsy and he falls a lot and he fell onto the drawings and got pink chalk all over his clothing and hair. Then I pushed him in the swing, aka his favorite place, and he would hardly get out when it was time for lunch.

At lunch I got to attend my first general meeting. (Where we talk about the different site reports and the field trip information.) I got to call home today at lunch! It was so fun to see familiar faces!

After lunch i had an off with Nik and Heather. Heather and I went to town and visited some sweet sites. She is really adventurous. She kind of reminds me of dad.

We went to the old Cathedral, built in the 1500s. It was super pretty! It reminded me of Vatican. We also went to a free mini art museum and Hidden Door. (The souvenir shop all the volunteers love.) we also stopped at a cute coffee shop for a churro and she got an empanada.

Tonight for dinner, Heather and I made broccoli and potato soup with grilled cheese. It was so good, especially after a long day outside in the cold.

Hannah made waffles but we don’t have a waffle maker so we made them like crepes. They were probably the best thing I have ever eaten.

Life is good! 💕 Lex

Old Cathedral
imageFree Art Museum
imageHidden DoorimageimageimageChurros

Dia Cinco

Nan Bread and Curryimage

Cathedral in Cuenca imagePopcorn Soup
imageToday I had the morning off!! Yay! So Hannah, Shawni and I went to town. We climbed to the top of the cathedral and went shopping for everything you could think of. I bought myself a headband and an alpaca scarf!

The view is AMAZING!
For lunch today we ate a califlour soup that we put popcorn in as a topping. It was actually really good. The food doesn’t have a lot of salt/flavor and the popcorn added flavor to it!
During lunch Hannah got some crazy news about her coworker/boss and two of her preschool students being shot busy their husband/father, who then shot himself. SO sad!
She was the person who was supposed to work the afternoon shift at Cunas with me, so I was a little stressed that she wasn’t going to come to work, but she came in order to keep her mind off of everything. She did really well considering the circumstance.
At Cunas there were two lady volunteers who are living in Ecuador, who are from the U.S.. One of them spoke terrible Spanish and it was really funny to listen to the way she pronounced everything.
One of the boys at Cunas today was being so grumpy! He was crying about everything and I was ready to smack him..don’t worry I didn’t. It is hard because they don’t have parents to teach them right and wrong so we are kind of in charge of that. I eventually just left him to sit and cry and when he was done he would come back and be fine as long as nobody touched him.
I did get to hold this adorable baby who fell asleep in my arms and I was dying! I also made friends with Betty, a Tia at Casas and Cunas.

Tonight was HML and we played soccer with the girls, but they mostly just chill with Logan. He is definitely a favorite. They did let me come sit by them on the steps while we sand songs from Disney, Frozen, Selena Gomez, Lizzy Migure, etc. It was pretty cute.
For dinner Kati made us a vegetarian curry that was AMAZING! We are it with a Nan bread and it was delicioso! I will make that sometime too!

Buenos Noches!

Dia Cuatro

Church Buildingimage

Casas and Cunas Building

Hello all! Today was crazy! So my first shift was in Milagros. We helped the kids eat breakfast and we dressed two for church. After that we got about 10 min. to change and get ourselves ready for church.

We took a taxi bus to la inglesia and it was like 15 min. away. The chapel was a separate building from the entrance, and the sacrament meeting as in Spanish. One of the boys from Milagros got to help pass the sacrament. It was really cool to watch.

I sat by the little girl who  peeshed on the playground yesterday and she was quite the distraction.

After church we went back to the same Casas and helped with papilla. (Snack) We also fed them lunch. I got to help the oldest and slowest inhabitant of the orphanage. He took 45 min. and then some. He was in a really good mood today and he kept laughing and smiling at me. He would also make little clicking noises with his mouth when he was ready for his next bite. The best is when he would make kissy noises at me in between bites. Apparently he doesn’t usually do that and Heather was teasing him about flirting with me. Haha too bad he is like 25…😁😉

Another dweller of Milagros who is the second oldest (22) has about a million warts on his hands. Today during washing before lunch two fell  off into the water and Heather and I were doing all we could to keep from vomiting.

My second shift was at Casas. It was crazy and I never want to go back. The kids are all 2-12ish and they all speak only Spanish. Lucky for me Nicole was working with me and she is one of the best Spanish speaking volunteers here. (Around 4 people here are fluent in Spanish, and a few more understand and know a majority of phrases.)

We attempted to show a movie in Casas but the kids only sat for like half an hour. The rest of the time was spent screaming and fighting over books and hitting each other. I got home and was so tired.

Let let it be known that Amber is a life saver and we had a great chat after shift today where she pretty much watched me lose it over my experience at Casas. I never want to go back!! I will probably get over it because I understand that the kids aren’t growing up in ideal circumstance and they lack disipline. For now though, I pray to never be scheduled there again. 😭😞

On a brighter note we had potatoes for dinner and I felt like I was in Idaho again. I discovered we truly do have the best potatoes. Also the ketchup here is discusting. Anyways…I am still enjoying my time spent with my fellow volunteers and I am definitely going to grow thanks to this experience. Hugs and kisses from Cuenca! ❤️

Dia Tres

Today started with a workout at 5 am with Logan. Heather was supposed to be there, but her alarm didn’t go off. I am just as surprised as you probably are that I was able to get up. I am seriously exhausted.

Here is a picture of the outside of the place I work. I can’t take pictures of the kids, or even take my phone to shift. Sorry for the lack of detail on the kids. 😞

My first shift was in Casa Alegria, so I spent the morning hanging out with the little kids. One of the little girls sat and cried the entire time. Another one is kind of like a 3-year-old mom to all the other little kids. There are two sets of siblings in Alregria and they are super cute. We spent the day hanging out and watching Despicable Me in English, but in black and white.

I got to hang out with the older brother of one set of siblings. He is 3ish years old but he looks and talks like a baby. He is also def and unable to walk. On my first day their mom came to visit, but she only wanted to take the “normal” daughter, but the Rossero’s said no bueno.

Between my two shifts I took a nap because I was so exhausted. Luckily I woke up before shift.

During my second shift at Esperanza we played hide and go seek for two hours! It was actually pretty fun. I hid with a little girl who is the crazy devil child of the orphanage. She is a normally developing child physically, but she was severly sexually abused and is still kidnapped by her father sometimes.

She totally peeshed on the ground by the swings today and then let out a huge pedo while we were hiding. On the bright side she told me I was “so cute” today and she is known for telling the volunteers that they are ugly. Yay! Haha

The Tia working in Esperanza today was super hard to read. She reminded me of Rosa the adopted mother in the book theif. I was feeding one of the boys and he knocked his bowl out of my hands and onto the floor. The bowl was practically empty, but it spilled a tiny bit. I thought she was going to eat me. Luckily I think she was more upset with him.

Another boy I was feeding took about 40 minutes to eat and he still hadn’t finished so we just threw out the rest.

Tonight we watched Castaway. It is good to hear and watch something American. I am super excited to go to church tomorrow. We take all the kids so the sacrament meeting is in Spanish, but I think I will still get the jist and feel the spirit. One of the kids actually graduated seminary today or he will tomorrow. Things are good here and I love the place!

Dia Dos

So today my morning shift was in Casa Esperanza. IT has probably been my favorite place to work so far, despite the smell of peesh. (That’s the Spanish word we use for pee.)There are a lot of things the kids from this Casa need help with. We fed, showered, dressed, walked, brushed their teeth, and did all of their hair. My afternoon shift was an off so I went into town with Nik and Magan. I love Megan. She is awesome! Nik loves himself more than anyone or anything in the world. No joke. He spent around 5 hours taking and editing selfies. He even bought a bouquet of roses to take pictures with.😐😳👎🏼 We bought souvenirs and chatos. Chatos is an Ecuadorian dessert of fruit kabob dipped in chocolate. We also tried the meringue cones, and they were not very bueno. I still love it here, and everyday it gets easier to bond with the kids and other volunteers. My Spanglish is really improving!

Tonight we made homemade empanadas. They were amazing! Don’t worry I will make them for you when I come home! Also my roommate Megan and I went running and did some other exercises and it felt good,to  but it is harder to breathe with the altitude change. (It is about 8,000 feet here) I am also going to try and exercise in the morning with Logan and Heather, but they go at 5..that will be an adjustment..

Haha Hasta Luego! imageMeringue Coneimage imageChatos imageCathedral Door, below is the cathedralimage Calle in Cuenca image

Dia Uno

Well I made it to Cuenca, after three days of traveling. I love it here. Yesterday we went into the city and saw all the cool handmade bracelets, jackets, blankets, hammocks, etc. I want to buy one of everything!

These are the girls I flew from Quito to Cuenca with. image(Shawnie, me, Amber)


OSSO payed for uno helado for the new volunteers. I got cocos (coconut) and it is a lot like gelato.imageo

image  Ecuador is also one of the top producers of roses in the world so the flowers at market are really inexpensive. I love the flower market! It smells so good!!

We went out to dinner to celebrate Jacie’s, a volunteer here, cancer-free anniversary. The food is pretty good, but kind of flavorless. The fruit is amazing!

All the other volunteers are really friendly and I made friends pretty quick. There are 12 total volunteers and 2 are boys. My roommates are really cool. Their names are: Nicole, Hannah, and Megan. We are the only room with 4 girls so I am on the top bunk.

There are three different casas here that we work in: Casa Alegria (little kids some with and some without disabilities), Casa Milagros (all disabled/handicapped males ages 15ish-21ish), and Casa Esperanza (children that cannot feed themselves, all in wheelchairs). Then there are two neighboring orphanages we visit, (Casas and Cunas) and then on Monday and Wednesday we have HML (a little girls’ orphanage).

Today was my first day working with the kids. (I was introduced to them yesterday.) My first shift was in Casa Milagros, and it was a little awkward at first, but I quickly made friends with one of the 15-year-old boys who has cerebral palsy and can only crawl. We played soccer together for hours. (He plays on his hands an knees.) I also love a little girl from Casa Alegria who is probably 2 or 3. She came up to me my first day and put her arms out for me to hold her. She is adorable! The kids melt your heart.

My second shift today was in Cuenas. It was awesome. Cuenas is where all the babies and toddlers live. They are all normally developing children. They are all so adorable. They eat a ton! They eat ate a giant bowl full of soup, probably more than I would eat, for dinner.

After my shift at Cuenas we went to HML. It was crazy loud and hectic, but we were only there for about an hora. We just do an activity with all the girls and then leave. I am super exhausted and it’s only day one of actual work. I will try to keep you all posted! Chao!