Monday, June 29, 2009

Saludos from Quito

Buenos dias, family and friends!

After a long day of travel, everyone made it to Quito, Ecuador on Saturday night! Though we were delayed for a bit in Miami, the extra hour gave everyone more time to get to know one another and the flight was a breeze. By the time we landed in Quito it was as if everyone had been friends for years!

After being met at the airport, we traveled to our hostal en La Mariscal of Quito, where we had a brief meeting and the students were introduced to our early leader, Jess. Once our pow-wow was finished, everyone headed to bed and promptly fell asleep. We slept well that night!

Sunday morning we awoke for an early morning breakfast and then held our main orientation. Using a few very clever games, we all got to know each other a little better and have decided that this will, without a doubt, be a phenomenal three weeks.

We then spent the rest of the morning walking around La Mariscal taking photos and exploring the area. During lunch everyone was introduced to the delicious, fresh fruit juices of Ecuador and it was eventually agreed upon that there would be no need for Coke, Sprite, or any other sodas while we're here! Later in the afternoon students broke up into their On Assignment teams and had mini-orientations of their own.

To top off our first day in Quito, we took a guided tour through Old Town, including a walk through Plaza Independencia and a look at the oldest monastery in Quito. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the tour,
especially since it was not only educational, but also theatrical. We then stopped at the oldest ice cream shop in Quito, and headed out for a late, relaxing dinner back in La Mariscal.

After a good night's sleep tonight, we are off to Mindo tomorrow afternoon for some tubing, hikes and swimming!

Alex & Jess