Today was our last day in Ecuador. We were able to return to the orphanage to give a presentation to the tias, therapists, and staff. Bessie talked about music therapy and prompting levels, Amy covered presumed competency and executive functioning, and Suzie modeled all types of transfers to help save the tias from all of the heavy lifting they have been doing and modeled some self-care techniques. Melissa talked about creating a language rich environment, how to use basic AAC (alternative augmentative communication), and feeding. Kimberly gave a little pep talk about how staff don’t have to implement all of this new information immediately, but can take baby steps and start one new approach before adding another.

We returned to the guest house to pack up and have lunch, before taking the two-hour trek back into Quito. We were given the opportunity to go to the artisan market, and let’s just say we definitely stimulated the Ecuadorian economy. A trip to the grocery store to pick up more gifts and goods was next, followed by a nice dinner in Quito’s business district as a team’s final hurrah. We’ve been dropped off at the airport and are ready for a 1:30am flight. We are all tired, fulfilled, and so looking forward to being reunited with our families.

Today before we left the orphanage, Isaac the psychologist had each team member select a random folded sticky note from a jar. He stated it wasn’t from him, but from God. Each one had a four-leaf clover in it and a bible verse written on it. Would you believe how intimately the Lord knows us?

The team member who had become cynical about her work and found this trip to be the thing that reminded her “why she does what she does” got Psalm 51:10: “Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me.”

One of the music therapists got Psalm 28:7: “The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”

The PT who sprained her wrist on this trip got Jeremiah 30:17: “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds, declares the Lord.”

I could go on, but you get the point. We are so grateful to be able to do what we do and honor the Lord in the process. We love our followers and supporters; please know that you made a huge impact in Ecuador!