Last Thursday we visited the Museo de Guayasamin (aka La Capilla del Hombre)! Oswaldo Guayasamin was a famous artist from Quito, Ecuador. He captured the suffrage humans faced during the Spanish war. All of his paintings/sculptures express the pain felt by those affected by war. We also got to visit one of his houses that was located right next to the museum. I also got a picture by the arbol de la vida (tree of life). Guayasmins ashes were spread there:
On Thursday night, my friends and I tried out a popular bar called CLUB MIA. It was ladies night so all the girls didn't have to pay! It had some good music towards the end of the night, but overall I was not too impressed. However I was talking with a guy from Ecuador who was a med student. It only takes 6 years to get your medical degree in Ecuador! How crazyyy is that!? Schooling here also does not cost nearly as much as it would at home. Now that's a way to save some money.
Pics from Club MIA:
Lexi, Masako, Emily, me, Olivia, Junko and Meg
Friday was our last class with our salsa instructor. Clay and I partnered up again and we continued to practice old moves combined with new moves. The problem I have with salsa, is allowing the male to take the lead. Dancing in the US is way different and I like to know what move is coming up. With Salsa, you never know what move is coming next because the male has control. Overall, we had a great last day of salsa class. Hopefully we can take more classes in the future!
Friday night a bunch of my BCA friends and I took a taxi to La Mariscal. We hung out at a cool lounge bar called "Cirque" and it was a good place to go and converse with friends over a few drinks. Jordan and Clay shared some type of salty beer. I tried it, but was instantly not a fan because I don't like salt too much.
Here's a few pics from Cirque with my BCA friends:
Sara, me, Madde and Emily
Clay, me, Eric
Me, Eric, Emily, Madde, Jordan, Stina and Clay
Jordan and Clay
Stina y yo
On Saturday morning I left to go fishing with my friend Diego and his father. This fishing trip was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. We left around 11am on Saturday morning and didn't get to the private farm: Yanahurco until about 5pm. We had plans to spend the night in a civilized building, but the owner of the farm forgot to leave the keys for us. Luckily for us, there was a hut style home that was equally as nice (total sarcasm for those who haven't picked up on it yet). It reminded me of the indigenous huts I saw last week in a town close to Otovalo. Before I came on this fishing trip, I was well aware that it was in the mountains but I was not ready for what I was about to get myself into. Out of the 5hr drive, 4 hrs was driving up hill on old cobble stone streets. But the majority of the drive was basically on huge rocks and consisted of off roading through streams and muddy terrain. The farm was located near Cotopaxi which is the largest active volcano in the world! I got some pretty awesome pictures of the snow caped mountain! As if the drive to the farm wasn't an adventure in itself, I was in for a lot more fun. Our campsite was supposed to have a small amount of electricity that was offered until 11pm. I guess the owner of the farm knew I was coming and decided that electricity wasn't an important factor. It's not like I've been camping before, clearly I could handle this. HAHA. but thank god I'm a go-with-the-flow type of girl, otherwise I don't think I would have survived the weekend.
Once again, I must make another shot out to my mother DEBB. She bought me an EXTREMELY small key chain flashlight before I came to Ecuador, and I was like what on earth will I ever need this for!? But sure enough, it was probably the most useful tool I had this weekend. None of us had flashlights and we instantly went fishing in the dark the first night there! THANK YOU DEBB for purchasing this life saving mini flashlight! It prevented me from getting totally stuck in the muddy swamps. I say "totally" because I could barely move for almost 5 minutes. Thankfully I had big rubber boots that kept my feet somewhat warm and prevented any dirt/mud from getting in my shoes.
Saturday night was extremely cold and it was not easy to catch any trout when it was pitch black out. Let alone, my lack of fishing skills using tuna and flour for bait. HA. But after freezing for about 2hrs we called it a night and went back to the camp site for dinner. We had a home made fire and I tried out my domestic skills by heating up our previously cooked rotisserie chicken. I must say, I did a pretty damn good job cooking over that fire! Even if my eyes were burning from the amount of smoke that was being blown into them. But after dinner was over we went to bed, which was one of the coldest sleeping experiences I have ever had. All I wanted to do was fall asleep so I could wake up the next day feeling warm from the heat of the sun.
Sunday morning we went fishing again around 9:30am. This time, the sun was shining so I had a much easier time seeing where I was going and what exactly I was throwing my line into. There was A LOT of walking and trekking up/down hills during this fishing experience. I suggest only those physically active try this type of fishing. Did I mention how much harder it is to breathe when your thousands of feet above sea level? Not fun. After fishing for about 4hrs, I had no success in catching any trout. I almost had 2 the entire day, but they got loose from my line as I was trying to pull them in. FAIL. but oh well, I learned how to gut a fish which was kind of cool/gross. haha
Although the day went quick, I was pretty excited to pack up and head home. I've gone fishing before in the past, but nothing like what I had experienced this past weekend. I think I'll stick to fishing on a boat from now on. It was definitely an awesome experience, but I'm not sure if I'll find myself doing something similar again in the near future. This type of fishing is something you would find on the Discovery Chanel. WARNING: for extreme fishers with a LOT of patience. Don't tell me I didn't warn you! hahah
Here are some pics from my weekend fishing trip: *(the view was AMAZING)
this is what we were driving through!
little bridges we had to cross
heating up some chicken haha
frost in the morning
haha pretending to eat a trout
the trout I should have caught
standing in front of Cotopaxi!
On Monday night, Clay's uncle got a few of us cheap tickets to the Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito futbol game (LDU for short). They are a professional Ecuadorian club team that play in the A series. Unfortunately they lost but the game was a lot of fun, and their fans were wild! Plus they were selling huge cups of Pilsner beer for only 2 dollars! A drink at any professional league game in the states would cost you at least close to 10 bucks! Jerseys were also being sold for less than 10 dollars! Incredibleee. I really want to go to a national game soon! Need to buy myself an Ecuador jersey first! =]
Chicas-Me, Sara, Masako, Stina, Emily and Madde
chicos-Clay and Eric
This past week of school, was my last week for my pre-semester class. I had my final on Thursday and today we had to put on our final presentation. The entire group of BCA students (21 students) were separated into 4 groups. The 1st group was North America (United States), 2nd group was Central America: (Cuba and Dominica Republic, but Mexico was included as well), 3rd group was South America (Ecuador and Chile) and the 4th group was Asia (China, Japan, and Korea). The funny thing is, the professors placed students into groups based on their ethnicity and physical characteristics. All the students from Asian decent (minus my friend Madde hahaha) were placed in the Asia group. Many of the students with blonde hair and north american characteristics were placed in the US group. Students placed in Cuba/Puerto Rico group were students actually from those countries or had Hispanic backgrounds. Not too sure how I was placed in that group but I guess it's because I'm Italian but seem to resemble someone with a Hispanic background. bahahah Either way, it was a blast! Each group cooked foods that are typical in their country. Everything was delicious! My group made Empanadas and tostones (made from green bananas, a salty snack). Both very easy to make! and very cheap as well. We also put on a performance for the class of 4 different styles of dance (Salsa, Merengue, Bachata and Reggaeton). Gasaolina by Daddy Yankee was a big hit! haha
Here are some pictures of my classmates with their professors:
my class-professora Lidice
all the professors with my director Daniel
As for now, I need to prepare some paperwork for tomorrow morning since I need to head to the consulate early! On Sunday, I will be leaving for a 3 night excursion with the rest of my BCA classmates. We are going out to the coast and will be spending several days at Rio Muchaco which is an organic farm that is about 80% self-sustainable. We will be participating in daily chores on the farm and hiking as well. Some students are renting horses for the day while some will take on the muddy hike to an area that is home to bunch of monkeys! I am super excited! After our stay at Rio Muchacho, some of us will extend our stay on the coast at a private beach. The hostel/private beach we're staying at will cost us anywhere between 12-20 bucks a person per night which is bit on the costly side here, but we do get our own private beach! Try finding something that cheap in the US! yeah rightttttt. but I'm excited for this trip, it's going to be awesome! A week from tomorrow, my sister Laura and my cousin Dana will be visiting me for about 8 days. I can't wait for them to experience with their own eyes, the beautiful country that I get to live in for the next 4 months. They will have the time of their life here!
New favorite word/phrase: endings ito/ita. This is not a word or really a phrase but people here love placing this on the ending of certain words. I bought a DVD the other day for 2 dollars and the man selling it to me told me it's only "dos dolaritos". Meaning only 2 small dollars. You can also use it in context when addressing litte kids or calling something "cute". My sister here is named Karla, but my family will usually call her Karlita! I love itttt.
Even though there are not too many things I miss about living in the United States(minus my friends and family of course), but here are a few things I DO miss about the US:
1-being able to stroll out of your house in shorts/sweat pants and flip flops without people staring at you and instantly thinking you're a gringa.
2-easy access to having a car to go wherever you want, when you want.
3-never having to take a crowded bus.
4-never having to worry about people stealing your stuff.
5-this is a BIG one. NOT HAVING TO LOCK MULTIPLE GATES TO YOUR HOUSE. And I thought my family at home was bad with making sure the door is locked at all times, at least we don't have multiple locks on a gate outside of our house that take forever to open. hahahha
One more thing: I don't think I ever posted pics of my living quarters so here's a little peek at my room! I have my own bathroom too which is awesome! Not many BCA students have that privilege so I'm grateful for that!
So far I'm loving everything about this country! This has been and will be the best experience of my life!
Until my next post, hastaaa la vista!