Chad arrived Monday and stayed until Friday, it was so nice to have some company! And really neat to have someone from ‘another life’ come be part of this life. I know that sounds weird…..
Monday I impressed even myself and made a huge `Thanksgiving` dinner for everyone since we were 2 homesick Canadians and both of my grandmas had e-mailed describing the dinners they had made in mouth-watering detail... that kind of did it, no other solution to stop my drooling! Not easy though, so many things you can`t find here (though Gladys is amazing and always seems to have just what I need in the freezer, odd things such as brussel sprouts!) and we had to do with a huge chicken instead of a turkey but for the most part I feel, given the circumstances, that it was a success. Especially pumpkin loaf for dessert!! I had been craving it so bad and it actually worked out so now I have to make more! And so I had likely the only outdoor Thanksgiving dinner of my life.
Tuesday was a lazy day, but it was the perfect lazy day because the weather was so nice… we just relaxed along the beach all afternoon until classes: reading, talking and playing cuarenta.
Wednesday was somewhat more productive. We got up early and headed out to Rio Ayampe. Hiked up there but it was really sunny and I almost think the wet forest is more jungle-seeming was it`s cloudy. But there was a good deal less mosquitoes! After almuerzo in Ayampe we walked all the way back through Las Tunas and down the beach to Puerto Rico where we had a short visit with my familia from last year.
Thursday was up and off to Machalilla on the bikes, actually a very pleasant ride, only about 35mins each way. Got in some reading on the beach and biked around Machalilla until the only restaurant open had almuerzo ready, Machalilla doesn`t seem that small but there`s really nothing there!
Friday…. Huh can`t recall doing anything much.
Saturday I jumped on the bus (which broke down and took forever to get there, first one I`ve been on that`s broken down had to happen sometime!) to Montanita to join Chad for the day. The one time I went last year did not leave me with a good impression of Montanita. Gringo-surfer-party town and nothing else. It`s not even like being in Ecuador! But I have to say I warmed to it a little bit more this time (they have a bakery with whole grain bread!) but I still won`t be heading down there every weekend like the guys seem to. We wandered about the town and then went on a mission to hunt down Alex (from the States who was here a couple weeks ago). He`s volunteering at a sanctuary place that has a convent, a university and an orphanage. He get room and board just for helping out, pretty sweet deal. He helped us find the only corner of town with restaurants that actually do almuerzos ($1.50 for one of the best I`ve had instead of $5 for wimpy pizza or something). After lunch I read on the beach and Chad rented a surf board and attempted to tackle the waves, though they weren`t that good yesterday. Later we found a stall that actually sold veggies for very cheap and whipped up an amazing stir-fry before I had to hop on the bus back home. I had decided not to stay overnight even though some other volunteers I had met Friday were going down and there was a big fiesta because I wanted to sleep last night seeing as tonight I`m taking the night bus to Quito. But then I ended up joining in on a friend`s birthday party here and perhaps didn`t get as much sleep as I had intended anyway. Oh well, I think either way I`m going be exhausted next week, a bit of practice for Nov/Dec…
Today I`m catching up on some stuff, just bought my flights home! Studentuniverse.com just saved me another over $300 =) I`m getting good at this.
So next week I will be internet-less and off discovering a bit more of this country finally.