By Nicole Duciaume, Documentation and Sponsorship Support Officer
Our plane circled the mountains and volcanoes before delicately descending into the Quito Valley in Ecuador late Tuesday night. The flight was seamless but immigration/customs were as expected, complete with long lines and weary travelers. As you can imagine, when you emerge from the airport doors, there is nothing more reassuring than seeing a familiar face. In our case it was the Ecuadorian Sponsor Relations Manager, Zoraya, who made the late drive to the airport to greet us.
CCF is a member of ChildFund Alliance, a group of global, developmental child sponsorship organizations. Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Sweden and CCF International in Richmond, Va. make up the alliance.
Prior to the meeting, myself and Margaret (a colleague from Richmond) arrived in Ecuador to assist with last minute preparations as well as an orientation with the communities.
The first morning we gathered to meet at the National Office. After a brief introduction to the entire National Office team, we delved straight away into the meeting agenda discussion. In just one week, it is very difficult to find the balance between community visits, directed presentations and open discussions. It is also very difficult to balance ample information satisfying all questions without packing the agenda so tightly that the participants are exhausted from information overload.
Though we worked into the early evening on general preparations, the clear highlight of the day was that it ended at a soccer game with Carlos Montúfar, the National Director. It was an Ecuadorian professional team (Liga) against an Argentine team (Arsenal) to move into the second round of a Latin American tournament called the Liberation Cup. For anyone who has not been to a soccer game in Ecuador (or most Latin American countries, for that matter) the sights, sounds, emotions and energy is nearly inexplicable and practically beyond words.
Soon, I hope to share more information on Diego.