Day 14: Saying Our Goodbyes

After staying only 5 days with our host family, today is the day when we have to say goodbye. After eating a hearty breakfast and packing my large luggages into the back of the moving truck, I headed up the dirt hill with my host family tagging along.  After waiting for everyone else to come down, we all got in a circle and said our goodbyes. Starting at Luis’s and Philip’s family, we all said our farewells with tears in our eyes, leaving me as the last one to part ways. We loaded all of our stuff into the bus and drove away waving at the pack of host families standing on the sidelines. We drove all the way to Otavalo to the hostel we stayed at the first day and after unloading all of our stuff, we crashed in heap. The emotions had made us extremely pooped out and we all rested for a good 2 hours. Even after the Tandana foundation dragged us to a place to eat lunch, most people went right back to the hostel and continued to rest (and use the Wi-Fi while it wasn’t crowded). Since this was our last day in Otavalo before going to Quito, we decided to blow the rest of our money on a few small things in the market, and I ended up settling on a really nice bracelet that I got a bunch of money off of. After playing card games afterwards, we were called down to the lobby where we played an Ecuador trivia game (where I didn’t know a single answer to a question), and opened our presents for secret Santa. Some highlights of the present opening was Jessica M getting 10 cute finger puppets, and Bob and I getting stuffed turtles from the twins. Michael also got an extra gift from Mike; some Puerto Rican movie. Next, we all walked down to the market and saw a line of yellow tents dotting the street. The tents were selling full lunches for only 2-4 dollars; the amount of food they gave us would have cost at least 10 dollars here in the states. Pretty crazy! There was a fried chicken and rice tent, a potato patty thing and beef tent, a meat-on-a-stick tent, and many others. Coming back to the hostel, the people on the top floor laughed and played games until 11:30 pm, and then we finally were able to fall asleep.

-Thomas Christensen

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