A Vacation Story

My brain and fingers can’t coordinate fast enough to tell you all about my vacation this very second, but I want to so badly. The YouTube video was a rough metaphor for how we felt most of our two weeks traveling around – I love my friends! I love this place! Ecuador is great! Everything is GREAT!

Even though I typically don’t do a straight narrative, I think it’s necessary to talk about my vacation because we did so much in a short time. I’m snuggling my new alpaca blanket and trying to narrow down my 600 pictures to a reasonable number, savoring a few more days free of the children and daily grind.

The best part about going back to Ecuador was remember exactly why I loved it there. Despite my initial anxiety that it wouldn’t be any kind of wonderful without my ’09 crew, my beloved Ecuador didn’t disappoint. It seemed like every few hours I was re-discovering something that had ensnared me in the first place – Pichincha! The weather! The people! Bus vendors! Cheap transportation! The parks! Popcorn in soup! Llapingachos! Naranjilla juice! Zhumir! Maiz tostado! Encebollado! Horchata! Using articles with names! Achachay and ayayay and atatay! Ñaño and guagua! Beautiful Quechua babies! American dollars! Quality bootleg movies!

I was so, so happy to be back. I realized that as much as I loved my experience studying abroad there, I loved the country and culture in itself and I would love to live there again. A few things have changed, like new bars and businesses, different Ecovia buses and more tourists and tourist-friendly areas in the Centro Historico. Despite reading and hearing some nasty things about increased street crime in Quito before this trip, we didn’t have any problems and I didn’t feel differently than I did when I lived there.

From here, I’ll narrow our travels into a few chapters and update as I get them put into words and pictures.


Kate “Moon Neck” Bailey, Program Director and Head Travel Coordinator.

Natalie “Northern Star” Southwick, Principal Navigator and People’s Bag Manager.

Brighid “Mountain Goat” Carey, Ecuador Trip Manager and Designated Top Bunk Sleeper.

with Special Guests

Vanessa “Tiger Eye” Walker, Head of Socialization and Motivation

Ben “No Assigned Indigenous Nickname” Taylor, Token Visiting Boyfriend/Packmule