We’ve been waking up super early for English tutoring, and today we got to sleep in. While we miss our kids, it was a nice change. That 30 minutes really meant a lot.

We got extra sleep because today we were going to visit an important place in the Ecuadorian Cosmo Vision, Chimborazo. Chimborazo is called Taita Chimborazo, which means the father of white ice. Chimborazo is also the closest point to the sun on earth!

It was really really windy there. At the top, we felt like we got slapped a bunch of times by little rocks because the wind kept blowing sand and pebbles into us. It was also hard to breathe because of the altitude, but we still had a lot of fun. People were always checking in, helping, and laughing with each other. Even people who struggled didn’t complain at all because it was so much fun. Getting to share this new experience with everyone made it fun.

On our hike, we saw a bunch of new animals like the Ecuadorian Hillstar Hummingbird (or Oreotrochilus Chimborazo). We also saw Vecuñas, which are relatives of llamas and alpacas. On the trail, we also saw native plants including the paper tree, chuquiraguas, an orange flower that hummingbirds drink from, and orejas de conejo (rabbit ears). The trail followed a small river, which was formed by the water coming from the Chimborazo.

We also saw traditional houses made of adobe and straw along the route.

Bryanna: I’ve never seen anything like this in my hometown. We talked about how I really liked the trail and the nature was really natural and didn’t seem forced. It was perfect the way it was. I now want to go hiking back in California. A few of us are planning on a reunion hike to Mission Peak.

Lunchtime was our favorite part. We stopped by the rio and just chilled and enjoyed nature with Chimborazo behind us in the background. The sound of the river was a new relaxing white noise that none of us had ever heard before.

We took a bunch of pictures and bonded—especially on the bus ride back.

After some rest, a few people went to the hardware store to purchase supplies for tomorrow’s CAP project. We’re very excited to work back at El Molino because we can give back. Being in Ecuador, we’ve been able to enjoy the nature, culture, food, and people of Ecuador. And now we finally get to give back. We hope we can give back a fraction of what we’ve gotten.

Today was also our special friend Rashad’s birthday! We sang to him Happy Birthday at every moment possible—including at breakfast. This was, of course, after we had already thrown a bunch of Happy Birthday balloons into his room at 6am. We also let him DJ on the bus ride. At dinner, we surprised him with a birthday cake.

Overall, today was very unique day where we got to feel close to the earth and away from the city life. We pass on the leader torch to Nickole, Ophelia, and Maria!

Bryanna: “Can you tell my mom [that] I’m sick……I miss you mom and faby ..specially faby duh! And I miss Nala and Mickey and Lagunita and even the fat fish haha AND mom can u screen shot this and send it to my father “TO Dad te extraño muchisimo y Como no tengo mi telefono yo ha estado jugando futbol todo los Dias asi que ya soy professional y vamos a ver quien es el pro” And mom tell Tuto Nina And Audrey I miss them okok bye mom im sick so when I get back can you love me super more than the usual lots of love that we usually share okok bye. Fobz can’t wait to get back and have tons of laughs and love cuz we are so hilarious and I miss our conversations. ok LOVE YOU GUYS BYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pilar: “Hey Mom, Dad and Heidi I miss you so much and I hope that you’re having a good time back home or in Barbados. Also hi Shai! I miss you a lot, and I hope that work is going well. Please set up your voicemail so I can call you. (Mom if you see this text her to tell her :-)). I’ll try to call as soon as I can. And whoever is picking me up from the airport please get me a medium iced caramel coffee with cream from Dunkin’. That would be great thank you.

Eric: If you are reading this then it is too late. (Join French Club at Mt Eden, meetings every other Wednesdays at A9)