We arrived at the airport in Quito at around 9:30 on Wednesday night after a five hour flight from Houston. We made it through customs and met our leaders, Sam and Taylor. Our bus driver, Nando (short for Fernando), delivered us safely to Hostal el Arupo. We had a short meeting/intro then headed to bed. I am roomed with Haley and Lauren and when Madeline gets here tonight she'll be in our room too. Ecuadorian people stay up all night because I heard car horns and music outside our window all night long! (I learned the next night to use my iPod to fall asleep). We woke up and prepared for a busy day including a gondola ride up a mountain (12000 feet) and a small hike where we took photos over looking Quito. On the top of the mountain we met some horses and horse keepers. One of the horse keepers (Javier) who let me put on his pancho! We returned to the Hostal then went off to dinner where I ate goat for the first time! After dinner we had a night tour of Quito to see all of the cool architecture and religious buildings all over the city. Friday morning (today) we hopped on a bus (now driven by Jorge) at 8 o'clock for a 2 hour drive to a market called Otovalo. The market was full of colorful fabrics and trinkets and the local market had exotic fruits and vegetables and even raw meat hanging! We ate lunch at a local spot and had a strange soup with meat in it that we later discovered to be intestine of an unknown animal!! I took some Dramamine for the bus ride home so I wouldn't feel so queasy, but then I couldn't keep my eyes open and found myself sleeping in unnatural positions the entire ride back to the hostal. We got home around 5 and uploaded/edited our photos from the first 2 days then headed to an "Asian fusion" (Taylor) dinner at 7. I scarfed down my pad thai (first one to finish) then we headed back to the hostal and here we are!
Tomorrow we are headed to Mindo on a 2 hour bus ride where we will stay for 6 days. We may or may not have internet access there so I'm not sure when I'll blog next.
Shoutouts to: the fam, Travis, and Mallory!! y'all better be checking and refreshing the blog multiple times daily :)