Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gary Duncan, Assistant Director of Marketing

Edging to Equador

In just a few days, we begin another Study Tour with a group of sponsors who will be visiting the beautiful country of Ecuador. Our flight from the mega-busy Atlanta airport will take us almost six hours over numerous Central American countries and two large bodies of water before we land on a short runway in downtown Quito. I started taking my 'altitude medicine' today to ward off severe headaches, sluggishness, and stomach aches that you may encounter in the high Andean altitude. Our hotel will be in view of six inactive volcanoes...although one continues to belch smoke that can be seen almost 50 miles away.

Although our group is smaller than the usual attendance of 20 to 30 sponsors, we have some unique characteristics contained in this group. First, we will have the youngest Study Tour participant in our 5-year history! His name is Luc and he is 7-years-old. We will also have our first intergenerational group, previous Study Tour participant Marlen and her mom and her daughter. They are from Miami and will bring a unique perspective of family traveling to the CCF Study Tours. We will also welcome back multi-Study Tour participants Jack and Cathie from Georgia. They are always a pleasure to have on these trips and generous with their support for youth projects in so many countries. Jack is a 'technology guru' who uses his talents to help poor villages harness the educational power of computers. We have some new travelers from other parts of the USA that we look forward to welcoming to our travel group.

I am fortunate to have CCF employee Renee of New York who will be helping me with the daily tasks of a Study Tour. Kimberly of Oregon is a new CCF employee of just a few weeks, but she will join us on this tour to see projects, meet National Staff in Ecuador, and get a first-hand look at how sponsorship fees and special gifts positively impact the areas where CCF is working in this country.

I look forward to reporting the events of our journey to you. I will also attempt to get sponsors-- even young Luc-- to add to this blog as we travel throughout Ecuador and explore the Galapagos Island....where there is no Internet service except on tiny Baltra Island and the signal is extremely week and sporadic even on clear days!

Hasta luego!

Gary D.

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