Fiestas, Fiestas, Fiestas!

Hello Everyone!

I knew that living in Quito would be slightly busier than Celica…

understatement

But these last 2 months have definitely been some of the busiest of my time in Peace Corps!

As I mentioned in my last post, I started working at a new organization, which is basically a before and after school program for children. We help them with their homework and also provide healthy activities for them to do in their free time.

I started working at my new counterpart at the beginning of December, right before the fiestas of Quito. My first week was basically watching various programs that the kids put on for the festivals, helping with recycled art project and moving groups of kids from one location to another which was basically like…

herding cats

After the festivals were over, it was time for all of the Christmas celebrations! During these weeks I helped take a group of kids to see the Nutcracker on ice which was pretty much like…

what just happened

And the kids were pretty much like…

stewie-running-o

We also had a Christmas program for the children that involved a soccer demonstration, baton twirlers/dancers and a magician! During the entire program I was pretty much like…

thats awesome

After the Christmas celebrations I took some time off of work because one of my friends from the States came to visit me for Christmas! It was pretty much as magical as this…

magical

Her first night here we hung out with several volunteers and some of our Ecuadorian, Peruvian and Brazilian friends. We spent the whole night dancing in our apartment and we had a BLAST! We were pretty much like…

whip nae nae

The next day we went to the historical center of Quito and magically got pickpocketed along the way to which we were like…

sad whatever

The next day we went to Mindo, which is a National Park in a transitional zone so it’s kind of like the jungle. While we were there, we went to a butterfly sanctuary and were pretty much like…

MindBlown

There were so many butterflies EVERYWHERE!!! It was amazing!

Then we went on a hike to see some waterfalls at the end of the hike it started raining and I was pretty much like…

No 2

So we went and hung out at a shelter and a nice couple gave us a ride back to town.

After Mindo we came back to Quito and spent Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with volunteers! We had a potluck and a white elephant gift exchange! On Christmas Day, we went to Chili’s (yes Ecuador has Chili’s) and then went to watch a movie. It was pretty much the epitome of…

usa

After Christmas we went to Otavalo, which is famous for it’s market. While we were there we did some Christmas shopping and also ran into some volunteers and got to hang out with them for a while!

The next day we went to hike around a crater lake called Cuicocha with a volunteer from my training class. We loved the hike and the scenery and I could not stop staying…

so beautiful

Seriously one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to!

After that we went back into Quito and just went around the city. We went to my favorite museum here and mostly just got to hang out and relax together. All in all it was an amazing and relaxing trip. I’m so blessed that I have friends that will come and visit me so far away during the holidays!

Elf-Buddy-I-Love-You

Also a big shout out to Lesley who sent goodies down for me and my kiddos!

youre-the-best

You make me feel so loved!

After my friend left to go back to the States I ended up staying in Quito for New Year’s. I was going to go to the coast but by the time my friend and I went to buy tickets, they were all sold out…

tears

However, I was pretty tired (and broke) after my vacation so it actually wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened. So I ended up getting to hang out with some of my friends in Quito and we went out and watched people set of fireworks and burn things. Then we jumped over the burning things for good luck so hopefully 2016 is lucky!

luck

After all of the holidays and traveling I finally went back to my counterpart. Right now I’m currently helping kids with their English homework, helping my coworkers with whatever they need and mostly observing everything to see what projects I could potentially start.

In Peace Corps I am doing various training activities with volunteers and staff, working on organizing site visits and hopefully getting a substance abuse prevention training organized for the spring!

fingers crossed

Overall I have been pretty busy either with work or play so we will see what happens next! I’m hoping I can really take off with my projects at my new counterpart and Peace Corps over the next months. I’m still loving life and all of my visitors in Quito.

living the dream

Well that’s all I have for now! Hope everything is great in your part of the world!

Peace out!