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Another Adventure


ECUADOR | Monday, 6 January 2014 | Views [542]

It’s official. I’m tired. We’ve been having so much fun that I can’t keep up anymore! I’m so glad I’ve decided to take tonight to work and homework and relax. I have to say, the boy advice from our host dad and bonding with our host mom was definitely worth it.

Yesterday we took a two-hour drive to Ingapirca. Being the history nerd I am, I loved being able to look at these Incan ruins and learn about what each room meant, what the Incan traditions were, and how they still impact the culture today. It’s so interesting to experience all the different aspects of Ecuadorian culture. Sure, the indigenous presence is felt almost anywhere you go, but each person expresses that a little differently. The Incans and the Spanish both conquered Ecuador at some point in time, so you have to wonder if these differences are a result of that. Or, are the difference just a result of the gradual globalization?

Thankfully our two-hour drive there and back was not uninterrupted. On the way to Ingapirca we stopped at another indigenous market. This one was definitely unlike the others I saw, as there were live chickens in bags, people chopping up pigs as they hung from the ceiling, and fresh fruit and flowers beyond measure. I can only imagine what my face probably looked like walking through the market. I know that the faces of my classmates were hilarious!

On the way home we stopped at a church. The Church of the Virgin of the Morning Dew was one of the most beautiful churches I’ve ever seen. I was chatting with our tour guide, Austin, who said that people make the trek up this mountain every Sunday (some people everyday!) to go to mass and celebrate. Just to make it clear, the people hiked up a mountain, then 145 steps (we counted) just to go to Mass. It was so inspiring! The endless arrangements of roses, the gorgeous stone alter, and view out the window just made for an even better experience.

Once we got home, I took a shower and was going to call it a night. We heard there would be a parade, but I had homework to do and was getting pretty tired. However, at about 8:00, my host sister Angelica asked if we wanted to go out with her and Francisco. We couldn’t resist! As it turned out, this was no normal parade. The whole city had shut down for the Day of the Innocents (equivalent to Halloween in the States). Francisco led us up and down the streets of Cuenca as we encountered many people in masks, weird dragon floats, and a circus in the street. It was such an odd experience! When we were done, we all decided that we needed some pizza. I was excited to try pizza in Ecuador because I thought it would surely be different, just like it was in Italy. So when we pulled up to a Papa Johns, I had to laugh.

After a late night of Spanglish and a long discussion over when to use the word “though” at the end of a sentence, we returned home. I’m so thrilled that we have the opportunity to make friends with actual Ecuadorian people. You learn so much more than you would without them! Anyway, it’s about that time. I have an observation paper and digital narrative to do.


Tags: dating advice, day of the innocents, ingapirca, though

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