Location: Quito

Today we woke up super early. The only thing that made waking up at 5:30 tolerable was Nicole’s full head of cornrows. After breakfast we headed out to the bus on our way to whitewater rafting. Everyone was super jealous of Luke’s poncho because it was really cold out. On our way to rafting, we stopped at a gas station to pick up our guides. Then we continued on a long bus ride. Some people were a little nervous about traffic since Pope Francisco was coming today to visit Ecuador! We kept seeing signs with his face on them and we all secretly wanted a t-shirt with his face on it. Halfway through the bus ride we stopped at a rest station and got grilled cheese sandwiches; they were so good! Also, Lauren got a really good deal on bananas. She got 5 for one dollar and then she shared them with us! Then we left the rest area and continued on our path. We arrived at the river and the guides blew up the boats with a leaf blower. We split up into two groups: the yellow boat and the purple boat. Going down the rapids was so much fun! Everyone got soaking wet by the rapids or our constant water attacks on each other’s boats. Every once and a while the guides would say, Whoever is adventurous, jump out now! During the rapids. Some of us would jump out and try to survive the waves. We even stopped at a giant rock and jumped off and swam back to the boats. After amazing fun during the rapids, we changed into dry clothes and had great burritos provided by our guides! Then we hopped back on the bus to go back to the hostel. It was a very long ride back (4 hours)! Then after already being late to the restaurant, we took 10 minutes to change into nice clothes for our final meal together. The food was great and we all loved it, especially the ice cream and cake at the end. At 10:30 pm we met for a closing meeting where James showed us a video of the whole trip. The video was a great way to end the trip and nobody wants to say goodbye! The three weeks went by so fast, but everyone had a life-changing experience that they will never forget!