After a short plane ride spent catching up on my world news, we arrived in Quito and were taken to our brightly colored hostel. We checked out the local market and then some of us went for a run to acclimate ourselves to the high altitude, in anticipation for Macchu Picchu. Apparently altitude sickness can keep you from sleeping, who knew. The next day we went to the offices of our partner in Ecuador, Yanapuma. They gave us an overview of the country and the specific community we´re spending this month in, Bua. We also had a short Spanish lesson and were taken to the city´s basilica, completed in the late 80s. We climbed steep ladders up one of the towers, for an amazing view of the city, which is about 50 kilometers long.
The next morning, we got on a bus for what would be the most beautiful drive of my life thus far. Ecuador is the most biodiverse country in the world, do largely to the fact that it has one of the greatest differences in altitude over a short distance. The dream of a cross South America road trip is forming in my mind...
We arrived in Santo Domingo and piled into the back of a truck for the ride to Bua. We arrived at the cultural center, a stick structure in the center of the rainforest, to be welcomed by the president of ShinoPi (the cultural organization), Alfonso. We were taken to see the ecological toilet like the ones we have begun to built and for a hike around the land. Then they dropped us at our host families homes.
I'm staying with the Loches, parents with a daughter Milena (7) and son Jesus (5). The kids have started warming up to me, even if I don't have much to say as I play with them.
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There is a ton more to say but I don't have any more time at this internet cafe in Santo Domingo. I am healthy and happy and constantly thinking, so no worries.