First, congratulations to new president Jan Yon and all the new board members and previous members in their new positions. I think we have an excellent group that will charge into 2012.
Saturday, January 28 we enjoyed an inspiring annual meeting. In addition to breakout groups discussing the many interesting possibilities for KEP in membership, fundraising and marketing/communication there were three fascinating speakers.
First, María Moreno, a graduate student who is doing research work in the field of anthropology, talked about the changing roles of women in the native highland villages. She noted that as women become more involved in politics their role in the home and the community is changing. It was interesting to hear about the strength of the women as they meet these challenges.
Following Ms. Moreno’s presentation Nick Bratcher spoke about his project in Ecuador building a playground for the community. He spoke of the life-changing experience, the friends he met and the thrill of seeing the children swarming the new playground “like ants.” Nick’s presentation reminded me of all our experiences meeting great new friends in Ecuador.
Hali Gaither was asked for an impromptu explanation of her recent trip. She went as part of a grant. She echoed the sentiments of the previous speakers in the delight in meeting such warm and welcoming hosts. Like all of us, she is looking forward to her next trip to Ecuador.
While we listened to the presentations, we dined on a delicious meal from the Nicaraguan Grill followed by Tres Leches cake – yum! We concluded the afternoon by listing all the ideas and suggestions from the breakout sessions. Ideas and suggestions were in abundance, so be on the look out for more communications about all the projects and volunteer opportunities coming this year.
One of which I can already divulge. Wednesday, April 11 at 7 PM the Kentucky Ecuador Partners and the Lexington Public Library will host Appalatin at the Central Library Farish Theater. Appalatin combines Bluegrass and Latin music. Crafts from Ecuador will be available for sale before and after the show (lots of new stuff!). Bring a friend. Bring your family. And it’s FREE!