Not even close, but still rewarding!
That’s how I generally feel about doing remote assignments via WhatsApp or Zoom for USAID’s Farmer to Farmer being implemented in Ecuador by International Development Volunteer Opportunities | NCBA CLUSA. I’d much rather be there, in person, to work with local volunteer Herman Spitzer and CLUSA’s Monica Aguilar to help our beneficiary the Waylla Kuri Association work through implementing the by-laws with rules of procedure so that they can function smoother and concentrate on selling specialty coffee.
(Did you know there are four different types of coffee beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. The most common (and popular) are Arabica and Robusta, but you might get lucky and run into the other two.)
But with so many countries still waiting for vaccines and so many privileged Americans refusing vaccines and spreading the Delta variant, we remain online.
Yet our morning (here) meetings and their photos of on-site work allow a bit of connection, training and are rewarding in themselves.
Not the same level you’d experience by being face to face, in the country of diversity. Each of the four worlds that make up Ecuador (Pacific Coast, Andes, Amazon and Galapagos) meeting new people and celebrating our sameness and different-ness…experiencing the sights, smells, sounds, markets, children, laughter of Ecuador.
It’s no secret that Ecuador produces some of the best coffees in the world. But they also offer some specialty drinks that I’m looking forward to trying. One of the most traditional Ecuadorian drinks, colada morada is most often associated with Ecuadorian traditions. Morocho, this spiced Ecuadorian drink is made from cracked corn, cinnamon, sugar, raisins and milk. It is a drink and dessert in one…depending on who makes it. One of the best ways for Ecuadorians to stay healthy is by drinking their favorite cup of tea, horchata.
Ahhh, how I miss in-person volunteer assignments, challenges, and all.
However, these remote assignments open up doors for YOU! If you have skills you’re willing to share with others, PM me and we can talk. I’ll put you in touch with USA organizations that can make it happen, remotely, for you… Until we can travel more freely again.