TTS23 in the Galapagos Islands

TTS23 in the Galapagos Islands
From left to right: Scout, Lindsey, Sophie, Feyza, Erin, Caroline, Lena, Susannah, Charlotte, Rebecca, Allie, Hannah, Alizah, Maisie, Anne, Kate, Courtney

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Gutting Chickens, Building Fences and Groupstays!

Buenos Dias! Today the group says good-bye to their groupstay familes. For the past week, students have lived in small pods with various families in a rural Ecuadorian village. Their host families shared their daily life routines with the girls, from waking with the sunrise, to washing clothes on a pila, to cooking over an open fire. Students learned new games from the kids and how different daily living conditions can be in different parts of the world. Anita Taft, former TTS teacher and founder of the Tandana Foundation, taught the group Quichua phrases and explained pieces of their history. She became an instant friend to this TTS group as they dug ditches, stirred cement and prepared food for the community feast after the Saturday minga. (A minga is community service day where at least one person from every family helps in a communal project.)

 After learning about the hacienda systems in Guachala and seeing numerous rose plantations throughout the valleys, these gals are witnessing the complexities of our global community. Throughout the groupstays, TTS gained another perspective of life in Ecuador. Many of you may have seen the recent article in the Washington Post about the oil industry in Ecuador. In Ecuador, oil boom creates tension details the efforts of the oil industries to extract oil, the indigenous struggles and Ecuador's request for help from more developed countries.  

Students will learn more about the oil industry in the upcoming weeks when they head into the Oriente. In Global Studies they will read and discuss Savages by Joe Kane to explore one perspective on oil in Ecuador and contrast this perspective with numerous articles from National Geographic, The New York Times and more. Hopefully, they will also watch the movie Crude. To culminate their unit on Ecuador and Oil, TTS23 will hold an Oil Day, an interdisciplinary day discussing oil from all angles - science of extraction and processing, economics of oil, history of oil and its' modern uses. They may role play different characters and be interviewed by inspiring TJ journalists... at the end of the day, everyone will have a new perspective on their lotions, clothes and cars with a deepened awareness of oil. 

As a vicarious participant of TTS23, we encourage you to read Savages, watch Crude and research other aspects of oil in Ecuador so you can amaze your daughter with your knowledge when she returns home. However, she might challenge and amaze you with her awareness and expertise on the subject.

If you are looking for other ways to follow the group, check out Queen of Water and House of Spirits, both of which the Lit & Comp class will read this semester. 

Check back for the newest photo album from the Agualongo area. Some photos are from past semesters and are intended to give you an idea of where the group is. 


  1. I just talked to my daughter Anne and she said everything was amazing and she loves every minute. She said the home stay family was so kind and I am amazed how wonderful she sounds They are some very lucky girls on TTS 23

  2. In Lena's words, the home stays were incredible. When we asked her how she was doing with the food she said she no longer tries to figure out what she's eating - what she had thought was a mushroom turned out to be a heart. She loved the minga.