Pulling out of Otavalo early Saturday morning, I couldn’t help but think about all the kids we were leaving behind. Jordy…Shaila…Jorge…Esteban… but I was also excited to see what camp week would bring.

As the smell of fish and the ocean got stronger, and the air got warmer, and I could breathe again (yay sea-level!) I could tell we were getting closer to the coast. We dropped our things off at the hostel and were off to recharge at the beach. We enjoyed fruit smoothies, volleyball, soccer, and swimming.

On Sunday we walked to the Esmeraldas church I had heard so much about from prior team members. Five of the team shared testimonies and then the church people took us upstairs to eat with them. We welcomed our newest member, Rachel, who would be joining to help us with camp week.

After getting our team assignments, making our flag, coming up with a team chant, and playing some soccer, someone yelled that the buses were arriving! My heart froze a little as the kids piled out. It was such a joyful moment as we saw many familiar faces! One by one the children got assigned to teams…amarillo, rojo, morado, azul, verde…this is going to be an exciting week!

– Lydia

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