Quick recap of the past two days: relaxing in Quito with the family (ie. watching movies, updating the blog, chit-chatting over tea and hot chocolate, etcetera).
Today was an awesome blast from the past because I met up with Emily and Ally, who also studied here with me two years ago through the Trent-in-Ecuador program. After a relaxing day (went on a rainy run, worked on a project for Dome, walked the dogs with Carol, Andres, and Luis after hanging out in the nearby park), Emily came over at around 5:30. She has been in Colombia for the past 10 days and arrived in Quito in the morning, but I only saw her after she napped the afternoon away. We reminisced. She told me a bit about her travels, which I look forward to hearing more about, and we did some preliminary planning for our trip to the coast. We're leaving tomorrow night! Ceviche (typical seafood dish), here I come. Since Emily goes to Guelph, I didn't get to see her much this year even though she and I were in the same province. How crazy is it that I'll spend more time with here here in Ecuador for the next week than the whole year we were both in Canada?
La Ronda is a cute, picturesque street in the historical district of Quito. Ally, who arrived two days ago, was there with her boyfriend, David. Today was the first time I saw her since I left Peterborough (we both study at Trent) on April 16. Emily and I met Ally and David at La Ronda with Carol, Andres, Luis, and Dome at around 8, and we all had a blast singing karaoke and drinking canelazo (a typical Quiteno drink) in a small restaurant/cafe/bar. Ally, who has a cool gig with an organization called Free the Children, met David a few months back when she was in Ecuador for work. He is from a Kichwa community in Tena, in the Amazon, and they started dating shortly after they met. Now Ally speaks and writes a bit of Kichwa, which is pretty fricken neat considering it doesn't sound like any other language I've heard. David also speaks Spanish perfectly, knows English, German, and a bit of French... What a dude.
It is impossible for me to accurately recreate the night for you here without photos and videos of the whole crew singing along to various tunes, but for now this will have to do. I will, however, upload them when I get them from everyone's phones. Andres was the star of the show tonight, that's for sure. Dome laughed more than anyone else, but we all had a great time. After about an hour and a half of singing, sharing a pitcher of canelazo and a few salty beers (literally too much salt in those beers I don't know what happened), Tio Nelson showed up with one of his friends. We all cracked more jokes in our Spanglish, and I had an extremely satisfying humita con cafe.
These are the kind of last-minute-not-planned nights that represent some of the best memories I have of Ecuador. I feel so lucky to be here again with two friends who discovered as many things as I did during our year abroad together, and I feel even luckier knowing that I'll always be able to come back to share more memories with a group of "family" members who are willing to share a laugh with these friends at any time of the day. Awesome Wednesday.
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