Last day before we meet the host families! The week has gone by so slowly because I feel like I’ve known everyone for a long time, but at the same time quickly because I’ve had such a blast.
This is a big blog post because we had SUCH an incredible day.
After taking care of scheduling and going to lunch, we met up at 1:00 PM to go to the teleferico. Incredible!! 13 of us squeezed into 3 cabs. Hector, our cab driver, danced and sang as he drove us. From Universidad Andina, it took about 25 minutes until we reached a sign that said "touch the sky." We took the gondola up to the top only to discover how giant of a city Quito really is, and also to see the beautiful surrounding landscape.
We stayed up there for a good hour or two. It was really fun to explore! Beautiful plants, deep crevices, a striking view. At one point I got a nosebleed thanks to the dry air, and it became funny because it just wouldn’t stop. While I realize there is a video above and photos below, the beauty cannot be captured through a lens. Truly breathtaking. We realized that there were many hiking trails up at the top, as well as horseback riding and also mountain biking. We decided we would have to go back, and this time make it a day trip. It’s crazy how there is such an escape right in the city. Very neat.
Fast-forward to 9:30 PM. Many of the girls had an Ecuadorian TA named Camila at Trent University. She graduated 4th year this past year, and her and her friends (another Camila and Mauricio) were kind enough to take us out tonight… So much fun!
We pre-ed at Mauricio’s gorgeous home, trying different kinds of fruity alcohol. We were driven to a club called “Hashtag.” We laughed, sang, and overall had such a blast!
One detail I feel I should write about: the strange preferential treatment. Our group was brought to the front of the line, which was nice because it was cold, but unnecessary since we were ready to wait. Once we got inside, the owner came by and said we didn’t have to pay the $13 cover fee, and we also had open bar. Then, he handed Mauricio a free bottle of something, which Camila told us we shouldn’t drink because the alcohol percentage is WAY up there.
While we all enjoyed a free night, it should be noted that these are the kinds of situations one must be careful about. Bars in Canada and the U.S. have “ladies nights” where women get in for free and guys are only allowed in later when the alcohol has kicked in. First of all, this screams “be careful” for obvious reasons. We were with locals who we trusted would keep us safe. However, we weren’t given open bar because the owner was in a friendly mood, you know what I mean? I am just saying it is important not to be oblivious. We had a great night because we were aware of our surroundings.
Recap: Amazing day! I look forward to going back to the teleferico.
Start this off with the best picture of the day:
We had some super classy boxed-wine at the end of the day. It was terrible, so nobody had more than half a glass (or Styrofoam cup, in this case). Another great night of hanging out though! We find a way to laugh at the most ridiculous things.
Thus far I’ve gathered that time is treated differently in Ecuador than in Canada… People are often 15 minutes late, for example. It will take a bit of getting used to, but nothing we can’t handle… Today was a surprise because instead of the keener Canadians being early for events, we were late! Unfortunately, since our schedule said 8:50, we were not on time to meet our Spanish professor at 8:00! I suppose it is better to have misunderstandings now rather than when classes begin.
As you can see from the photo at the very beginning, we are getting to know each other very quickly. 13 is a great number of people because there are enough to have a variety of activities going on at the same time, but we can still do things together.
That's it for now,
Before I get ahead of myself, some of the other girls and I watched a very funny Spanish soap opera... Terrible acting and a dramatic plot-line was exactly what we needed. To give you an idea, a woman caught her boyfriend cheating on her and called the cops. Great Spanish practice! We also discussed all of the places we’ve traveled. Collectively, we’ve been all over the place to over 40 countries.
Moral of the day: Canadian preparatory ideals are not universal! We went to the Canadian Embassy and got a wake-up call about how to prepare for the volcano. I'll explain that more in a week or so... In a week I think it will be more funny than it is now.
We got cell phones today! That was a funny time. They are indestructible!
We went to an Itallian place today for dinner. While the pizza was great, my lasagna was terribly salty and without sauce! We laughed about it a lot.
I LOVE THESE GIRLS! We had so much fun. I spent some time upstairs for a few hours with a bunch of people, and then when I headed to bed I listened to a hilarious conversation between Annika and Rachel. This group is so great because there are no clicks, everyone is accepting of one another, and everyone is friendly. We've already had so many laughs, and it has only been a few days.
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