Today was that day, that day we will look back and say “I haven’t been this proud of myself in a long time.” This was the day that we were all looking forward to; however, we had doubts. It all started the night before; we had our first free day on Monday and many of us felt homesick, tired and scared. We got to wake up around 8:00 am on Monday, but we could not get comfortable with going to sleep and waking up late because today wake up call was at 6:30 am. As the leader and a peer to those in my group, I knew that it was not easy. I knew that once I knocked on those doors I would hear moans and groans, but it was my job to feed my group positive energy because that would set the mood for the entire day.

After waking up we immediately had to get on the bus because we had a two hour road trip ahead of us. We knew what was going happen, but we didn’t know we would be tackled; therefore, most of us decided to rest up on the bus to have as much energy as possible. About an hour later we opened our eyes and immediately looked out the windows and we had a spectacular view of Mount Chimborazo.

Along with Joy came anxiety, it seemed almost impossible to think the that we could even go a few meters up but we decided that this was what we needed to do to overcome the obstacle. So Juanito drove us up to the entrance. We were about 14,500 feet up in the air. You could feel the change in altitude as you walked a couple feet. Along with freezing temperature and harsh winds there was also some shortness of breath. If you think we stopped there, you are mistaken. We got back into the bus and drove up the first refuge. When we got there we were told that we were an astonishing 15,750 feet in the air. While we were there you could definitely feel the toll the altitude took on your body, but the view was so amazing that it was worth it. If you looked in front of you you would see the beautiful Mount Chimborazo. When you looked behind you saw the clouds hovering beneath you. Words can not describe how amazing it was.

Once we came down we challenged ourselves once more and hiked up the Polylepis forest which was another highlight of the day. Some of us felt like giving up but we made it and we were the first complete group to make it. All in all today was all about overcoming obstacles and that is what we did in and out throughout the entire day. I am very proud of all my peers because today was not an easy ride.IMG_0235