All students have safely arrived! We’re excited to tour Old Town Quito tomorrow!
The group started their first big travel day….starting at 3 am. We took a bus to the airport and flew to Baltra island. We were already starting to miss José. After that, we took a combination of boat and bus rides to reach Isabella Island. Were we met our new tour guide…Faci. We walked around the town and eat a nice home made meal. We are all excited for the adventurous day ahead of us.
Contributed to the Wall of Tears today after a lengthy bike ride but it’s okay though we had a good time.
Found the entrance to the ocean after swimming/exploring in the Mangroves.
Today we did our long 10 mile hike up Volcan Sierra Negro where we saw many different land formations created by the multiple eruptions over time. Although it was overcast and rainy for most of the day, we all had a lot of fun on the hike and in the mud, keeping a positive attitude the whole way. All in all, it was a good day of exercise and a good bonding experience for the very one in the group.
– Madie Keller
Today was our first day of service, we came into the service and instantly started working. We moved branches and twigs with rain, cockroaches and spiders challenging us many times. We worked around tortoises and got a chance to feed them fresh oranges and bananas which we indulged in ourselves, picked right from the tree. Everyone stayed positive and motivated, it got tough to stay on track but we pulled through. Although it was tough work we were up for the challenge, you couldn’t stop us from getting our hands dirty. After the job was done we headed back to the hotel to reenergize. Once our meal was finished we were off to see the tortoises. Our tour guide showed us around filling us with knowledge about tortoises telling us about how he got into saving and helping them. We saw the baby tortoises and the adult tortoises who are very playful but very slow. We got back to the hotel to have a scavenger hunt, there we went around town with our teams of four to make today even better, we still have yet to see who wins but it is a close race. We spent the rest of the time at the beach watching the sunset over the mountain, all in all everyone worked hard and worked together while having a lot of fun on the way.
Today, the group heads to their next stop – San Cristobal!
WiFi will be limited during this portion of the trip, so blog posts will be sporadic over the next few days. Fingers crossed for dolphin sightings on our journey!
Today we woke up early in an effort to finish our service work at Campo Duro. Before we started working on the lagoon…we went to a local school and played games with them and taught some English. After that we went back to work on the lagoon. With some tough shovelling and carrying, we were able to lay concrete for about 1/3 of the turtle lagoon, marking a nice finish to our project at Campo Duro. We played some soccer and in the afternoon had some free time to hang out and go to the beach. For dinner, we cooked instead of the family who usually prepares it for us. After some long work to make grilled cheese and ceviche, we enjoyed our food and had some group time, followed by sleep for an early morning.
At 6:40 everyone was up and about getting ready for a long day in San Cristobal. We ate breakfast at 7 and departed up the mountain to start our service work. At the mountain, we worked together to destroy the invasive species(blackberry and guayaba plants) to allow more indemic plants to grow there. This would allow more land turtles and birds to nest and thrive in the area. Afterwards, we ate a delicious lunch and departed to Tijeratas where we snorkeled by the side of the native Galapagos wildlife. To dry off, we relaxed in the beautiful city until we departed back to Home Base. Then we ate dinner and went star gazing/owl watching which was the ending to an amazing day.
Today was quiet an interesting travel day. The day started with a hearty last breakfast at our Isabela hotel that consisted of mostly jam n’ toast and eggs. After departing and arriving at the boat dock and proceeding to file onto the boat, we cruised along the surface of the ocean as the sun rose. Arriving at Floreana Island, we were greeted by crabs of various colors and sizes. We walked to a black sand beach where we snorkeled and lounged until lunchtime. There was a baby sea lion that made sounds like that of an infant human who entertained us as the day drew on. We later unhappily embarked on our last boat ride of the trip; a three hour one. It all turned out okay in the end though because San Cristobal was a beautiful sight to behold after a day of endless sea. Our living quarters are much different than in Isabela in that there are giant spiders on the wall constantly and were in the middle of nowhere. Overall, it’s unbelievably beautiful.
Today we went to the beach and chilled with some sea lions. The. We went to town and bought some souvenirs for all you folks back home. For our service we planted many endemic trees in the area we cleared yesterday. On the hike back to home base we got to witness the end of a local horse race. It has been a long day full of fun and and meaningful activities and it felt great to shower. We are excited for a good nights sleep and another full day tomorrow.
Hey families!! We have safely landed in Quito! This morning started out with the group getting to sleep in late and have a delicious last meal made by our host family. After that we packed all our things and headed to the town for one last souvenir run. Our flight was short and we had about a half hour stop in Guayaquil where we played a question game with Skittles. We landed a half hour later in Quito International Airport. Everyone is very excited to be back in Quito and excited to see what the last full day of our time in Ecuador will bring.
Our final day in Ecuador has been bittersweet. We started off this morning with a trip to the Equator museum where we learned about native Ecuadorian peoples as well as how being directly on the equator effects the way things work.
We were enthralled with trying to balance an egg on a nail. Most of us were able to ( we got certificates to thing home for those of us who succeeded). Many souvenirs were bought before we headed back to the bus and back to the hotel. Once there, we made a quick excursion to the local supermarket before we headed back to the hotel for a delicious lunch. After lunch we headed for the local artisan market where we had a ball buying and bargaining with the local sellers. Now we are settling down for the night and getting ready for our super early flights but we are excited to be heading home.
All students have departed and are on their way home!