Ecua-cation!

Hey Everyone!

Things have gotten super busy here so I’m sorry it has taken me so long to post again!

To start off, my trip with my friend was AMAZING! Here is what happened…

First, I picked her up at the airport in the most dangerous city in Ecuador in the middle of the night because of course, that’s when international flights come in! The entire time I was ready to be like…

karate-chop.gif.pagespeed.ce.nud165byAf

But everything was fine and the following day we went to my site.

Once we got there, I got to open up my suitcase of goodies and I was pretty much like…

excited baby

It was like Christmas and it actually WAS Christmas time! Thanks again to everyone who sent something for the holidays!

love you buddy

When we were at my site my friend got to see where I live and work and life in a small sierra town. She was definitely shocked that eggs here aren’t refrigerated and neither is the boxed milk or the meat in the market. These are all things that I’m now used to so for me it was like…

button up shrug

While we were in my site, my counterpart’s mother taught us how to make empanadas and several other Ecuadorian dishes so that my friend could go home and make them for her family/friends. My friend definitely had a very Ecuadorian experience when my counterpart’s mother made rompope which is basically just a whipped egg with sugar and cinnamon. I knew that this is not the best or probably the safest dessert but in order to not be rude we had to eat it. As my counterpart’s mother made it my friend was like…

colbert-jaw-drop

And I was like…

die

But (in order to not be rude) when we ate it we were like…

eating

In the end the cooking lessons were very successful (other than the rompope) and my friend learned how to make empanadas and several other Ecuadorian dishes. My counterpart’s mother was like….

best day ever

The next day we went to visit some other volunteers that live in Puerto Lopez which is on the beach! The trip was pretty long and we did have an emergency bathroom situation that fortunately got resolved with only a partially embarrassing story. It was definitely a “Welcome to Ecuador” kind of experience and my friend was like….

Rickey-OMG

And I was like…

bravo2

Once we got to the coast, the culture shock kind of sank in… I kind of compare the coast to Africa with flushable toilets. It’s hot, there are a lot of bugs, it’s hot, it’s loud, it’s hot, it’s busy, oh and did I mention…. IT’S HOT!

Even for me it was a lot to take in, but after traveling a lot, not sleeping well, not eating the food out of fear of amoebas/parasites, the heat aaaand the club next to the hostel playing ecua-loud music (aka. Real loud) I think my friend was pretty much like…

abort

The next day we talked, got some food that we all felt comfortable eating and we moved to a different hostel so everything was better. When we first arrived to the new hostel all of the volunteers considered it a resort, however, after much debate we realized that by American standards it was definitely NOT… But it was quiet, right on the beach AND it had a (green) pool so we were like…

minons

After Puerto Lopez we then went to Montanita which is a KNOWN party town/tourist spot. I would honestly compare it to New Orleans. The streets were packed with people, it was extremely touristy and there were A LOT of bars! Since I’m not really used to the tourist scene, it’s not really something I enjoy and at times the large groups of foreigners made me feel like…

nervous

But at times it was nice to kind of blend in and to just watch all of the surfers walking around without shirts on…

aww yeah

On one of the days there I tried to learn how to surf but I wasn’t feeling very well so it ended up like this…

can't do it

The next day we went to Salinas where we spent New Year’s Eve. We met up with some other volunteers and found a Texas (that’s right I said TEXAS) Barbecue place and we were just like…

food

We ended up eating there for the majority of our meals.

We hung out on the beach the first day and realized that Salinas is an extreme tourist place for Ecuadorians… It was packed with people and vendors… I tried to buy a life jacket so I could just be lazy in the water, but the vendor said I was too big for it…

Rude

So instead he made me buy an inner tube and then I decided that it would also be fun to get a kiddie pool… So OC (other Courtney) and I played in the tube and pool for the entire rest of the afternoon…

excited gator

For New Year’s Eve, we followed along with Ecuadorian tradition and bought a paper mache figure called an año viejo. The año viejo is supposed to represent all of the bad luck from the past year… and you get to burn it in a bonfire! My friend and I picked out a Kermit to share. Some of the año viejos were GIANT also some of them had fireworks inside of them, so needless to say, the bonfires got real interesting!

All in all it was an AMAZING experience, the bonfires were HUGE and there were fireworks going off in every direction for hours! At first we were like…

panic 2

But after a little while we were like…

firework

Fortunately all of this was happening on the beach so we figured if one of us got caught on fire we could just run into the water.

After the fireworks and bonfires we were pretty exhausted and ended up calling it a night and went back to the hostel and watched a documentary about gorillas….

breakdance gorilla

We are obviously a crazy bunch!

The next few days of our trip were pretty laid back, we went to another volunteer’s site where we played on our last beach and where I filled up on all of the ceviche and shrimp that I could before having to head back to the mountains. We did some tourist shopping and then we headed back to the airport and we were like…

sad

For the first few days back in site I was like…

Abbey-Lee-I-wanna-go-home

But fortunately I am starting a lot of my projects this month so I am EXTREMELY busy and don’t have time to feel feelings!

Since this entry is so long I will fill you in on my projects later this month!

I hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace out!

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