A blog for my six months spent in Ecuador.
Galapagos Islands - Isabela
Overload of Group Pictures
I’m sorry that I’ve forgotten where credit is due for many of these pictures. I hope that’s ok. These past six months have been some of the most challenging of my life (I may have already stated this twenty times) and I wouldn’t of been able to get through it all without the support of all of these people. In the past six months we have shared lunch, taken classes, complained about those classes, rode public transportation, traveled all around Ecuador and even out of the country, complained about the food, shared stories about our host families (good and bad), drank together, occasionally a few of us cried together, laughed so, so much together, and through it all supported each other. I couldn’t have asked for a better group. I appreciate both our small eight person Ecology group (Tiputini would not have worked out so well any other way) and our large entire group. Now that most of them are back in the United States, I can fully appreciate how much these people mean to me and how much I hope that we’ll all stay close when we’re back at K. We made it through Ecuador. And that takes a lot.
Am I excited to go home? You bet! Dropped off Phil at the airport today after we walked around El Centro Historico and the Mercado Artisanal one last time today (first time I’ve ever dropped someone else off). Let myself buy this scarf at the market after the woman at Repulica de Cacao gave me back $16 out of a $20 when I spent $14. I normally point out those things but since Phil got robbed two nights ago, I decided I wouldn’t care. So with this scarf, and my old hat, I’m ready for the cold Connecticut winter (even if it hasn’t been that cold). One more day here. There’ll probably be many posts in that time frame, since I’m trying to kill time at this point.
(I’m not all excitement about leaving. This has been a huge chunk of my life [1/40th to be exact] and I’m sad to see it end. Dropping Phil off definitely made me realize that. Tomorrow’s post will probably be about this.)
Galapagos was pretty cool, to say the least. I have a whole lot of pictures to post, but this is all that’s going up right now.
More Amazon pics (Note - that cute monkey was not actually in the Amazon, but at a resort thing we stopped at to eat before our flight home, therefore, he was probably an illegal little guy)
Some pictures from the Amazon.
Here’s a start to the Amazon pictures. Granted, I was there a month and a half ago. But still, I consider this place to be one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. I appreciate my program here immensely for providing us Ecology kids the chance to go these places. We stayed at the USFQ Tiputini Estacion de Biodiversidad (Biodiversity Station). Here, we were provided with some of the best food I’ve had in Ecuador (honestly, the only time my stomach/digestive system has been in sync, and that’s a big deal), guided tours through many trails, views of monkeys, gigantic spiders with the potential to kill us (it’s ok, no one touched them), frogs, more frogs, more bugs, a few snakes, more monkeys (huge, cute, small, all over the place), and so many weird plants and fungi. I’m gonna go ahead and just do an animal/plant post.
Kind of a weird picture to post in the midst of this blog, but I’m going home soon. Where the meat may be venison that my family has hunted, where Dad and Mom have hobbies that go beyond watching TV, where I’ll drink real, fresh milk and eat real butter (I’ll probably actually need to start exercising to make up for that), and where life is a little more sustainable. Posts to come about Galapagos, Amazon, why I’m sad to leave, and how this may have changed me.
But not quite yet. Just got back from half a month spent in the Galapagos studying, snorkeling, being a tourist in a large group and exploring with a small group (pictures and descriptions to come). A wonderful experience during which I saw many sea lions, blue footed boobies, sea turtles, cacti and all things stereotypically Galapagos. Now, I’m sitting back in Quito wondering where my host family is but not really caring that much because I’m relishing this alone time. I’m realizing that as excited as I am to go back to the states (oh to just be able to speak English in public) I will be sad to leave this place. This week will be a week of riding in taxi cabs to places for the last times, visiting places that I may never see again, speaking with people I may never see again, and just realizing that I may not come back here for a long time (if ever). I’m ready to be back. There’s just a lot to do first.
Peru Trip: Post No. 4 - Traveling down to Puno from Cusco
While the other half of our group took a plane back to Lima, Megan, Phil and I traveled ten hours in a tour bus down to the city of Puno (where we would be visiting Lake Titicaca). The fact that this bus was a tour broke up the long trip a little bit (though the longer bus rides would be to come). During this tour we visited an Incan temple and ruins, reached the highest altitude point between Cusco and Puno, and were provided with a wonderful buffet lunch where I was able to try alpaca meat (it tasted like a sweater to me).
Peru Trip: Post No. 3 - Machu Picchu
On Christmas day, we woke up bright and early, took a bus to the train station, got on the train that three hours later brought us to the town of Aguas Calientes. Here, we then took a frightening bus ride up some cliffs to the area where we could enter Machu Picchu.
Upon entering the area, we climbed up a ways in order to make it to the first viewing point of Machu Picchu. Unfortunately the weather that day was a bit rainy, so when we first made it to that point, we couldn’t see anything due to a cloud covering the ruins. Shortly after though, wind slowly blew the cloud away, revealing the ruins we had traveled so long to see.