Hey there from Quito!
We all arrived safe and sound yesterday, and got settled into our hotel. We had dinner of soup and pasta and then headed to bed, exhausted from the days travels. Today we are learning about the programme for the morning, and will be out and about exploring Quito for the afternoon. Will keep you posted 🙂
June 27, 2017
Today was a very busy day. We woke up at 3 AM to begin our journey to the Galápagos. We rode a bus to the airport and then got a plane to Baltra Island. We got off then we took two boats to Isabella Island. As soon as we arrived, a saw a variety of wildlife: Pelicans, boobies, penguins, sea lions, iguanas and crabs. After that, we went to the beach and learned about the islands from our tour guides. We had a really nice dinner and we are all very tired. I am looking forward to snorkelling with the sea creatures and doing service work with the group.
This has been Alejandro…signing off!
June 27, 2017
We had an incredible day today and we had our first full day of activities. On our trail hike this morning we saw several marine iguanas, finches, cacti, a horse, pelicans and at the end of the hike we enjoyed local homemade ice cream. In the afternoon we started our service at camp Duro, where we cleared weeds for the giant tortoise’s habitats. We were lucky enough to have seen many tortoises, and even at the end of service played a exciting game of soccer. We’re very lucky to have had amazing food so far, and have even enjoyed playing with the locals puppy. We can’t wait to explore more of this beautiful island.
-Abby Baughan and Julia Barkan
June 28, 2017
¡Hola! Today was a really good day. The day started off at 12 AM, when Siena had a traumatic sleep talk experience due to her immense amount of anxiety she apparently had for the day of leading. Sofie doesn’t remember much, expect siena asking how she should lead and if the past leaders were any good. Sofie kindly responded with mhm mhm mhm…that soon put Siena back to her deep slumber. Finally their alarm went off at 6:30 in that morning and they woke the group up PROMPTLY at 6:45. Sofie may or may not have knocked on the wrong door….. As usual, all the travelers got up, got ready for the day and headed down to breakfast. The breakfast was amazing: crepes with syrup and granola, croissants with guava marmalade and butter, the usual hot drinks and a delicious fresh-squeezed tangerine juice. After breakfast we all headed to the harbor for snorkeling and kayaking. We split into two groups, one group went with Gustavo and the other with Angel. Despite the strong current, the rare wildlife made snorkeling worth it. One minute you were swimming staring down at schools of fish and the next a sea lion was diving right in front of your eyes. Since angel’s group ended early, they had time to explore the beach some more and check out the mangrove trees. Gustavo’s group kayaked first, they saw Blue-footed Boobies, Penguins and even a sea turtle!!! As his group headed back to the shore, a pair of kids had managed to capsize the kayak on a large wave. Once both groups both kayaked and snorkeled they walked back into town towards their hotel. On the way to the hotel they jammed out to some music and stoped at a local shop to buy some ice cream. It began to drizzle outside, it felt refreshing considering the humidity. Arriving back to the hotel, they only had a minute to get ready for service. We had lunch at the worksite, they served us SORT OF tuna, rice, lentil soup and a cabbage salad. The fish tasted so fresh we were all so happy because we had been famished from this mornings many activities. Today’s service consisted of work to further conserve the Tortoise’s habitats. We pulled weeds, picked some fresh passion fruit and guava, and cleared the grounds of anything invasive. We also re-planted some bamboo in the dirt as food for the tortoises. The tortoises are so cute, Sofie named one Tina. Like yesterday, we finished the day with a fun soccer game. Who would’ve known that Hokan is a true soccer legend….?!?? It was all fun and games until it started down pouring on us. At this point, we decided it was time to head home. The ride was so relaxing, everyone had their headphones in and enjoyed the scenery as the wind from the open car cooled them down. Arriving back to home base, it was pretty late. We ate a hearty dinner that consisted of pumpkin soup and popcorn, beef, mashed potatoes and rice. We all are extremely exhausted and couldn’t be more excited to get comfortable in our beds. Today was an amazing day and although we won’t be working with the tortoises anymore, we are excited for the adventures to come.
Much love, missing everyone…
Sofie and Siena (s^2)
P.S. popcorn in pumpkin soup are really good, don’t make any assumptions !
Hike to Sierra Negra this afternoon with mud and rain though the group is in super great mood. Plenty of birds like Darwin finches, Warbler Finch and Flycatchers
The day began at seven with a wonderful breakfast: crepes, croissants, and fresh fruit. We then headed off to the service site, an elementary school consisting of five children. The lack of children in the school causes the government to often overlook it. We went to the school to help update it. There we were split up into three groups, one group had the task of painting windows, another painting the classroom, and the last had to pull weeds and plant trees. After an hour we switched the station, everyone participated in each task. After this we played soccer and other games with the children. The bus came at 12, we then headed back to the base. Upon arrival we were able to clean up and head down for lunch where we had pasta salad, plantains, and rice. After lunch there was a meeting on the terrace where a skills market was completed. This is when you write down a skill you can offer and a skill that you can seek. After this we taught and learned many skills from one another. Some of the newly learned skills were counting in mandarin, yoga, playing a tin whistle, and drawing a cartoon Gandhi. Once these skills were shared and learned we all had time to relax. Some people went to the beach, others went to town, while some slept. While in town many were provided the opportunity to buy bread from a local bakery and converse with the locals. At 7 everyone reported downstairs for dinner, this consisted of fried rice and plantain chips. After dinner we went over the schedule for tomorrow and talked about what we have accomplished and further goals. We are currently all waiting for our laundry so we are able to pack and get a good night´s rest for our day of travel tomorrow!