Location: From Andes to Quito
I am not normally a morning person, but catching the sunrise at 6 AM was worth it. Once dressed, we headed down to a breakfast of fresh eggs, local artisanal cheese, and homemade bread. Then the real journey began. We all piled into the back of a work truck and held on while traveling the steep dirt roads of the Andes to find ourselves at our first volunteering adventure. We were given hoes and shovels to clear out several hiking trails that were originally closed for the summer. As we risked our fingers and toes throughout the day, we bonded over our new callouses and farmers tans. The Darwin tribe finished the grueling yet enjoyable work early and decided to eat our lunch with an amazing view of the towering Andes Mountains. When we arrived back at the Black Sheep Inn, Michelle and I took a nap with full bellies and sore muscles while dreaming of the giant spider we saw earlier taking revenge on us with its other spider friends. We both woke up just in time to catch our bus back to Quito, in which we took another nap. Following our arrival at our quaint hotel in Quito, we ate a delicious meal of chicken and potatoes, which was much appreciated by all because of the strictly vegetarian diet at the Black Sheep Inn. Our guides turned off the dining room lights and set a bunch of tea light candles on the table to make our dinner feel special. The highlight of the dinner was when we all learned the astounding fact that fire is hot (just ask Quinn). For dessert we had local figs covered in melted black sugar. Overall, today was an incredible day filled with exciting new experiences, and I can’t wait for our up and coming adventure to the Amazon!