¡Hola everyone! Our first week in Ecuador was grueling yet rewarding and full of new experiences. We were all complete strangers in the beginning but now we are a dysfunctional yet perfect family. We´ve been through countless sicknesses but everything that has happened has only made our little group closer and happier. From Spencer planking on the equator to all of us chasing llamas, our first day was spectacular. Then, our hike at Cuicoicha turned out to be one of the best experiences so far. Even after IMMENSE difficulties, the view was so phenomenal that it was akin to Neverland. Perhaps the most fun activity so far was playing with the local school children. The second we arrived little girls and boys were launching themselves at us, eager to play and learn more about us. After spending hours playing with the kids at our stations (Simon Dice, Luz Rojo y Luz Verde, Cuatro Cuadros, Pulseras de Amistad, Futbol, y Futbol Americano) and events, we were truly inspired and did not want to leave them. The kids were fantastic with their endless smiles and energy! That same day, we learned and experienced hands on how to weave Ecuadorian tapestries. While worth the energy, it took much longer than our instructors expected. On our fourth and nearly final day at Otavalo, we had the experience of shopping at the local artisan market (a place full of color and culture), buying fruits at the local fruit market, and taking a detour to check out an injured foot… Our last day in Otavalo involved either a hike up Mt. Fuya Fuya or a day of nature observation. Overall, the week was one of friendship, sickness, family, and fun! Tomorrow we will be heading off to our homestays in San Luis de las Mercedes, eager to meet our new Ecuadorian families and form new bonds!
Until our next blog…¡Hasta Pronto!
– Leah, Olivia, Emma, Kirti, Nicole, Alex, Hilary, and Caitie