05/22/2016: Great Ending to the week!

June 24, 2016

Hola!

I haven't written in a while so I will catch you up on my week!!!

Wednesday night after Spanish lessons me and four other students at the school went to an activity hosted by the school, soccer. What we thought was going to be just a three on three quick soccer game ended up being a three hour long very competitive soccer match. The teacher that organized the activity invited 8 of his friends. Who were 8 big Ecuadorean men who were very very good at soccer. I didn't contribute much to the team but it was fun to see how passionate they were about the game.

Thursday I slept in and did some Spanish homework in the morning. After Spanish lessons I went with my two friends Eric and Maggie to Old Town to see "Virgen de El Panecillo". We took the bus to Old Town and then a taxi up to the statue because it's unsafe to walk up there, but the taxis are really cheap here, it was only $5!

After the statue we wandered around Old Town for a bit and got and an empanada a piece of fried dough with sugar on it and cheese inside, and the traditional Ecuadorian drink Canelazo, its a warm drink made with orange juice and cinnamon.

On Friday I had orientation for my volunteering that starts on Monday. I will be volunteering at a center for elderly people that provides meals and activities. A volunteer at the center was explaining to me that elderly people in poverty is a big problem in Ecuador, their families do not have enough money to feed themselves so it leaves the elderly people to fend for themselves. I'm really excited to start volunteering, but am nervous because no one there speaks english. It will be a new challenge!

After Spanish lessons I came home for a little and took a nap and then headed to Old Town with my friends to hop around some of the restaurants there. 

On Saturday I went on a day trip organized by the school to Cotopaxi volcano! We met at 7:00am in Plaza Foch and it was about an hour bus ride to where we ate breakfast. It was a cute little lodge in the valley of all the mountains and volcanoes. Cotopaxi volcano is still active, its last eruption was August, 2015 and it is 5,897 meters tall! We hiked up a mountain across the volcano to get a better view. It was so pretty!!! We were so close to the clouds it was amazing. Our guide told us all about the different ecosystems in Cotopaxi national park, that was really interesting to hear. After hiking, we biked through the park! It was beautiful and a cool way to see the mountains. It was mostly downhill, but the parts that weren't were really challenging because the altitude made it really hard to breathe. Once we biked for about two hours we were back at the van and ate a delicious lunch at the same lodge we ate breakfast at. I loved the trip and I don't think I stopped smiling once.

Today (Sunday) I went to the equator. My friend Olivia and I figured out the bus to get there! We took the bus all the way to the end of the line, which we thought was the only bus we needed to take. We must have looked like clueless tourists because a woman came up to us and explained we needed to get on another bus to get to "Mitad del Mundo". We got there and it was so cool! There's a huge monument and a big yellow line marking the equator. We took the elevator to the top of the monument it was a great view of the surrounding monuments! Then we had a good lunch and took a taxi home!

I can't believe it's been a week, it has flown by! I am all ready dreading leaving this wonderful place! I am so grateful for this experience! I am excited for volunteering and for another good week!!!

Thank you for reading!!!!
Lots of love!!!

Molly