Today I learned the subtle difference of intonation: Dólar (dollar) vs. Dolor (pain). Instead of saying “it costs four dollars,” I said, “it costs four pains.” Oops!
I also tried a fried plantain, or "platano" in Spanish. A plantain is a type of non-sweet banana that is cooked before eating. The dessert was surprisingly good! It tasted like a cooked banana surrounded by fried dough.
I learned the word for paragliding today: Parapente. Paragliding is when you jump off of a cliff holding onto a giant kite that flies you around. It turns out there are a handful of parapente clubs around here, and we can try it once we’re used to the elevation. Sounds like a blast!
I had a meeting with Maria, our TIE coordinator, about the research project/placement for the second semester. We will be visiting areas for potential placement locations during the weekends of first semester. I was set on doing a research project in the Amazon with a community there, but Maria suggested thinking about a placement in the Andes since I want a full cultural immersion. In the Sierra region, traditional dress is the everyday. That would be a neat experience!
I can confirm that the sleepiness is from the elevation. Phew! It is a tiredness that does not fade, even after sleeping all night or taking naps. My body isn’t sore, but that’s how some of the others in the group feel, along with constant fatigue. It is so strange because I can do strenuous exercise at home, but here we take it easy and I am a deadbeat! Of course, it is not taking away the pleasure of being here.
After walking around for 45 minutes and enjoying the sights and sounds of the place, we split for lunch. I went to an Ecuadorian-Chinese-vegetarian restaurant, funnily enough, with Ally, Alysia, Rachel, and Annika. I’ll have to post photos of everyone in the next few days so you know who I’m talking about... For $3.25 we had a full lunch (almuerzo) with drinks and dessert! Also an important detail: American money is used in Ecuador. I'll have to google why...
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There is a very intuitive free app called “Spanishdict” that helps you with vocabulary whether you have internet or not. I have been using it constantly, and am learning a ton. For example, it is simple to look up words like maybe (tal vez), somebody (alguien), never (nunca), or other everyday words like trophy (trofeo) or car dealership (Concesionario de coches). So many jokes have come out of this app.
I had a great chat with my family on facetime. It is incredible that we are so far away, but yet can easily video-chat with one another!
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