Meet our newest volunteer, Danny!

This week we hear from Danny – a recent Villanova graduate and Starfish’s newest volunteer. Danny has worked with Starfish at Villanova through Business Without Borders and a class where he helped design a Salesforce database specifically designed for Starfish’s unique needs. Now Danny personally gets to see the Foundation that he has worked so hard to help over the past year or so!

Danny with Starfish volunteer Andrew, helping Yesenia and Yamileth with their homework.

Wednesday, June 12

“This past week has been a bit of a whirlwind of learning new things, meeting new people, and going to new places. I have never taken a Spanish class and know very little Spanish, so using and learning Spanish was definitely a worry of mine before coming here. It has been kind of fun communicating with students using English, Spanish, hand motions, etc. I have been quickly trying to pick up the most important questions and phrases in Spanish. Most importantly, the first question that the students always asked me during my introductions involved “Barcelona or Emelec?”(The two soccer teams in Guayaquil).

Danny’s first day with the kids. (Jenn’s note – Danny chose Barcelona for his Guayaquil team!)

Communication with me usually involves a student saying a sentence to me in seemingly very fast and mumbled Spanish, me have a confused blank stare on my face, the student changing the sentence to a few key words, me understanding a couple words, another person helping with translation, and finally unanimous jubilation after comprehension is reached!

Danny helping André with some English homework.

I have enjoyed helping students with their English homework. English is not an easy language to learn! It has also been a lot of fun playing games (Uno is my personal favorite) and sharing knowledge of English and Spanish with each other.

Danny & Andrew playing Uno with Starfish Employees Marcos, Yuliana and Valeria during the break!

In the four days that I have been with the students, I can already see their talent, potential, and leadership skills. Quick story: For Solange’s birthday today, we had cake. Once the cake came, a couple curious very young children came and quietly watched us eat. Without being asked, some of the Starfish students went out and offered their cake to the children. I was very impressed with the servant leadership qualities displayed here. Ecuador, and the rest of the world, needs places like Starfish to provide environments for talented and caring leaders like the girls mentioned above to flourish. I am excited to continue to learn and help where I can during the rest of my time here!”

The afternoon crew in Guasmo!
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