Its been close to a month in Ecuador and I know this is a place that I will come back to one day. We have been in a small town on the coast (Olon) for the majority of the time, I was here for 2 weeks with my mom then Ryan came and met up with me after a brief family ski trip in BC. We have friends here who have been so incredibly helpful in every possible way. They make it their business to be helpful, whether you want to learn Spanish, get surf lessons, get directions…anything! Check out their company and website outdoorecuador.com. Since arriving here at the beginning of March, I have gained so much confidence in speaking Spanish! Ivonne (our friend who started Outdoor Ecuador) is an absolutely amazing teacher and made me excited to learn and practice Spanish, which is just what I need before traveling to Colombia to visit with relatives.
Ryan has been a happy surfer because the surfing here has been the best yet. Most days he’ll come out of the water having experienced catching “the best wave of my life”! Stay tuned for his latest surf video which will be uploaded this week. On the flip side, I’ve been taking yoga classes every couple days (which is also organized by outdoor ecuador), and not to mention they are Spanish led classes! It’s a great way to learn my spanish words for body parts.
There are the most stray dogs and cats I have ever seen in one town. We’ve come across hundreds of dogs and a few cats and kittens. It’s hard to come into this exposure with them when we treat them as our pets, but most people here do not even look twice at the animals. They are constantly chasing and barking after cars and motorcycles, constantly “having relations” with eachother next to your table while eating a meal, following you all over town looking for a little love and attention. It’s sad for me to see, but I know this is their life and they do seem happy enough, despite being itchy and flea-ridden.
The other day I came across the smallest kitten I have ever seen! It was meow-ing uncontrollably looking for its mom to get some milk, but the mother cat was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t leave it in the middle of the street during the hottest part of the day. So I brought it back to the hotel room, bought it some milk, which it figured out how to drink after a while. He calmed down quite a bit and fell asleep next to the heat of Ryan’s body. While I was looking at that 1lb ball of fur, I was thinking long and hard about how we could bring him along on the rest of our trip. That thought left my mind quickly when I thought of the 20hr bus ride we are taking to Colombia next week. So after his food and sleep we brought him back to the area we found him, hopefully he has a mom out there somewhere who will find him!
It will be hard to leave this place, but we know we’ll be back! We’ve met amazing people, made some great friends and grew a couple relationships. The locals in this town are so friendly, every person you pass in the street greets you with “Buenas Dias” and everyone is happy to have a conversation with us despite our lack of fluent Spanish – they just appreciate us trying.
But we must move on, so tomorrow we will be traveling to Baños (a supposedly beautiful town in the mountains), then Quito en route to Colombia. I am so excited to FINALLY be visiting my father’s homeland and meeting relatives I’ve only heard about. It really will be an amazing experience that I’ve been looking forward to my entire life.
Stay tuned to see where we’ll be traveling after Colombia! It will be a little change of pace.