As my time here is quickly coming to an end, I've been thinking a lot about what this means to me. I have experienced so many cool things and I have a ton left to do (school work and otherwise) but all and all it has been one of the hardest, most amazing, eye opening, fun, adventurous, non-traditional educational, slap me in the face experience that I have had thus far in my almost 21 years. It has opened the doors for possibilities in my future, and I really hope to use and apply what I learned/ gained here when I return to the states. I don't want to take anything for granted or forget the situations I have encountered. My family here was more than amazing, and the people in my group were pretty great too. I was thankful to have visitors from the states--although it kind of cramped my studying time-- it was definitely worth it. I've met fabulous people through my internship and other activities I have been involved with, and will be very sad to leave these friendships! I definitely would like to return in the future and see how things have developed and changed. I love Ecuador!
More reflection to come when all is said and done (and I have more time :) )
I've been super busy, but a little brief on what I've been up to lately! I was super sick with what I think was the Swine the week before my field trip...which put me out of commission for a few days. It was really hard to sleep and get things done, but I managed. I've also decided after a last minute cancellation that I will be traveling to Guatemala/Belize this J-term (3 weeks in January) for a tropical ecology class. I'm just a traveling fool!
Michael just left after spending a little over a week here. We had a GREAT time. The first 5 days we hung out in Quito and he saw what I do on a daily basis. He came with me to my internship, met and spent time with my family and classmates, and toured the city of Quito a bit. My group put together a Thanksgiving meal--which turned out really well. The food was amazing and the company was even better! We invited all the families and probably had around 60-70 people--and we (the students) did all the cooking! It was comforting to have a big get-together when all of us are away from home (although it's starting to become a trend for me to be out of the country for Thanksgiving--I think I'll start a new tradition!)
This past weekend Michael and I went to Baños. Although I had been there before, it was once again suuper fun. We rented bikes and biked out of town via the route of the waterfalls, hiked around a bit, ate some great (and not-so-great) food, and relaxed and enjoyed the scenery from our roof top terrace! We ran into another girl from my program Torrey and her boyfriend who also came to visit, so we spent quite a bit of time with them. It was an all around good time. Michael also had to experience the bridge jumping! What a rush.
We had to crawl through this sweet tunnel-like cave to get up behind the Pailon de Diablo waterfall. Amazing! (no actual pics from behind it--we got pretty soaked!)
Love love love
Sorry Becs--he did this while on your insurance :)