Today marked the last full day for RB1B in Ecuador and we spent it by immersing ourselves into the Cacha community. It was a humbling opportunity to experience how these local people completed their daily lives. We were able to to eat breakfast with them, which consisted of cheese, fruit, bread, and heart-warming traditional drink. We then split into three groups. Some went to do moderate labor of either: cleaning sacred Incan waters, harvesting oats or quinoa, or preparing the chicken which would later be shared with the whole community for lunch. After lunch, and an eye opening day of work, we said our thanks and headed back to the hotel to freshen up for our last day of English Tutoring. There, we reviewed the content previously taught with fun games. One English class was surprised with a heartfelt goodbye in impressive English and a thank you from their students before they left, which ended with many hugs and tears. After, we said our goodbyes as a group, but not before we took many photos with our students in order to preserve these wonderful memories. After tutoring, we headed to our favorite restaurant, Roma Santa, where our beloved chef Isabella presented us with two surprises for our last dinner from her. First, was a roasted rabbit, which was mouth watering and left us wanting more. The next surprise needed volunteers to be chosen beforehand, who were then shocked by the delicacy that Isabella had waiting for us, huge live caterpillar maggots. After many volunteers had chosen to back out, a few went through with the challenge, absorbed Ecuadorian culture, and bit into toasted caterpillars that were still squirming on their plates. This surprise was followed by a dinner of beef, fried potatoes, salad, and a tea that filled all of our hearts with the love and warmth that Roma Santa has given us these last two weeks. We headed back to our beloved Hotel Tren Dorado and realized during our nightly meeting, with heavy hearts, just how little time we had left together. We said our biggest loves for one another, and ended our last unity clap with a passionate “RB1SHII”. We pass the torch to the experienced Andy, and can’t wait for him to lead all of us home safely to you! Thank you to all who have supported us along this adventure by following our blogs and commenting to give us a piece of home.
Much love from Riobamba: Emi, Marissa, and Vannessa.
P.S. Yes mom, I know you’re wondering: I did eat the caterpillar! Love you so much, and thank you for putting those pictures in my suitcase along with the card. Also, big love to you for leaving the comments, they were greatly appreciated by EVERYONE. I hope the talks you had with Nabbie helped you a bit while I was gone. Love you so much and see you soon. ~Lama