Amy Forbush, a People Operations Specialist from Lehi, Utah, was working one day with a group that included Dennis and Estali, two local boys from Verde Sumaco, and Faith, who had accompanied her grandmother on an Academy Corps expedition.
“It was one of my favorite workdays,” Amy said. “I was in a group of mostly teenagers, and I just loved connecting and chatting with them because it reminded me of my days as an elementary school teacher.”
While the group worked together, Amy, who knew Spanish, began talking with Dennis and Estali, asking them about their lives, hobbies, and interests. Later, Faith told Amy that she had been so impressed by the confident way Amy spoke Spanish with the boys. Faith was taking high school Spanish classes but said she wasn’t brave enough to make conversation with Dennis and Estali. With Amy’s encouragement, Faith gave it a try.
“She was hesitant at first,” Amy said. “But as I talked with Dennis and Estali, I told them that Faith was learning Spanish, and it turned out that they were learning English in their school.”
Soon, Faith was asking the boys questions in Spanish, and they returned with questions of their own in English. Despite the fact that a few details were lost in translation, the teenagers were still able to laugh and get to know one another as they worked.
“It was a beautiful moment of courage and connection that I will never forget,” Amy said.