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Could we call this the view from my "office" for a day?     Not quite but I spent the weekend in Banos with students so it's where I was working from! We woke up at 4am, drove to the Swing at the End of the World and made sure to get a picture of each and every student. The bus was completely silent for those first 3 hours as everyone tried to catch a few more zzzs. We then headed into Banos where we got chocolate empanadas. Those of us rafting then headed back to the bus while others ...

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Lemme see. There was the time we snuck into Bryan and Justin's houses and snagged several of their classic outfits. We then wore them to chapel dinner one night, to the delight of students. EBB and I dressed as Justin and Lauren, Lauren and Steph dressed as Bryan. I have to say, EBB made a convincing Justin from behind and had a few people approach her thinking they were talking to him. I also learned I look like a giant potato when wearing large t-shirts and jeans. It was fun to do together ......

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Nate's last game of the season. Cumbre Alta in the final and up for promotion. The excitement was visible. We piled all four Passmores, the kids and I, EBB, Dani and Garrett into their car and sat ... in traffic. But we made it to the game on time, not without getting hit by another little car that stalled out in the parking lot. Browns, Gustavo, Fabian & Mabe and Brian Wallace were there too ... as well as a whole pile of other fans for both teams.   We cheered, we scored, we cheered s...

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We hosted the Living & Learning Halloween party at our house this year, which was a lot of fun. Instead of a traditional day of work I saw a few clients and then spent the day driving RCs around, finding things at my house for them, etc. while they set up. There were watermelon carving contests that spilled watermelon juice all over our hardwood floors, too many sugar cookies and white chocolate oreo popcorn to be eaten, team cheers, beauty pageant interviews and games. There was dancing and...

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Twice a semester we take the students into the jungle, to a town called Misahualli. We take them there because we have formed continuing relationships with the local community. Though the students change each semester, as a program we want to have long-term impact instead of a quick in-and-out serve mentality. Our primary partnership is with a small, Christian school called Antioch.    The students and staff work together to do VBS type programs. This exposes the kids to English (the s...

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29 students are fun but sometimes it's good to get some time away and just be together as staff. When students are around we are focused on them but when they are gone we have a blast together.  Typically we do some kind of mini celebration when students enter their homestays for a month, because while Resident Coordinators still have lots of work to do, they have a quiet house at night and that is really nice! This semester we did a cake decorating contest and there was some great creativi...

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Rucu PichinchaSummit: 15, 696 Something I've always wanted to do is summit Rucu, but I've never been willing to set aside a whole day to do it. Having my work designate a day just for this made for a perfect first time up it! About 25 of our students went (we had a few sick ones) and for the first time in LLI history, all 25 who started summitted! It took about 8 hours because of staggering between groups but it was an absolutely beautiful, energizing, connecting and persevering 8 hours! I staye...

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Students have arrived and the Living & Learning semester is off at a gallop. Lots of training sessions, lots of worldview classes. In between we introduced the students to La Ronda for empanadas (oldest street in the city) and Cafe Mosaico for hot drinks and ice cream sundaes (view of the city while you eat.) We went out to El Refugio for team building activities where staff and students do low ropes and high ropes. Favorite moments included our team trying to haul Aaron Voth over the wall l...

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In mid August I started my new job with Living & Learning International. It started full swing with two weeks of Resident Coordinator training and then All Staff training. We welcomed four new Resident Coordinators to the team. They are all recent college graduates who have studied abroad in the past and recognize how their own life was changed and shaped by that experience. Now they are back for more with our team, to serve as "house moms/dads." To care for the students who come, to support...

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Inca Link had another World Race crew come through this summer and Nate had about 5 of them help do some painting on the new storage, changing rooms, bathrooms at his 5 v 5 field. We are super grateful for the manpower that World Race provides through their teams to get some of these "extra" jobs done. The World Racers come with good attitudes and a culture all their own! We took them some fruit cobbler one day as a thank you because Nate had heard a few of them saying how much they are missing ...

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Email:  nktaube [at] yahoo.com
Skype:  nktaube
Nate's twitter:  ndtmustard

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