Natasha, Ecuador Pt1

Hola Amigos! For those that were wondering, yes, I made it to Ecuador alive. After almost 30 hours of travelling we landed in Quite, Ecuador with a bit of a bump (enough to make the woman in front of my throw up). But no bumps along the way were going to faze me! I am usually the one gripping the arm rest until my knuckles go white during turbulence, but instead I was having a blast – laughing away with the man next to me, who obviously thought I was quite entertaining! I think knowing with such assurance that I was doing something I was meant to do, and the excitement for what this incredible journey will bring, gave me a peace that transcends all understanding. Hallelujah!

2 days into a year trip and not only am I alive, but I am seriously living! This city is incredible! Tucked away in the valleys of the Andes at 3000m above sea level, it is a thing of beauty. Steep roads, and stunning Spanish style houses are framed in majestic mountains – this is a sight that continues to take my breath away. However, this might just be the altitude! Quito is the second highest capital in the world, and apparently none of our Travel Doctors thought we needed altitude medication – hey, don’t mind us, we will just stick out the nausea, headaches and dizziness! Not as bad as it sounds seeing as I am experiencing none of the above.

Not only is the landscape beautiful, but the people are also. I love Latin American’s. They are so full of life! On our first visit to Vida Verde -our Language school for the next 2 weeks – we were treated to a Spanish music sing along. Led by a charming fellow named Fredrico – a man over flowing with character – on the guitar and joined by the other teachers and students none of us could help but laugh, smile, clap along, and attempt to sing/make random noises with our mouths. Our involvement was limited due to the fact that, while we had word sheets, it was difficult to read each word, process it, figure out the pronunciation, and then sing it to the fast beat. Smile and mumble was my moto!

 

The family I am staying with are absolutely lovely! Mi Madre llama Hepatio (translation for all of those who aren’t fluent in Spanish…. My mum’s name is Hepatio – atleast that’s how it’s said), and mis hermanas llaman Angie y Natalie (again, my sisters are called Angie and Natalie). You will all be my guinea pigs as I learn espanol – even if you don’t understand me, or you are a smarty pants and know that I said it wrong, just tell me I am doing great, por favour! Gracias in advance. I think my language of choice at the moment is Spanglish (Spanish + English, in case anyone missed that). The trick is to slip in one Spanish word in an English sentence, to firstly prove that you are trying, and score brownie points with the locals, and secondly in the hope that they will actually understand what you are saying. This method works approximately 98% of the times – success in my eyes!

 

Tomorrow we head to Otavalo, the largest and most infamous indigenous market in the whole of South America!!! Unfortunately, volunteering on my budget requires a somewhat stingy life style, so while my purchases may be restricted the photos and experiences will be endless!

Hasta Luego Chicos!