Here we go again! But this time we’re halfway through the trip!!

We started off our morning by grabbing our dirty laundry and giving them to the worker who is going to wash our clothes for us, and oh boy we had a lot. Before we started our free day, we grabbed some breakfast at Roma Santa where we had the best toast with strawberry marmalade, hard boiled eggs, and some tea and coffee. Let me tell you that tea was well needed because all of our stomachs have been upset. After breakfast we all went out to the internet café where we spent our morning giving our families calls! It sure was nice to be able to call after a full week without contact. While some cried, some also laughed of joy. Some Glimpsers split off with Stephanie and got coffee, frappes, and milkshakes which were SO GOOD! Unfortunately, Stephanie’s chai frappe took 45 MINUTES! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT, 45 MINUTES! But at least it was somewhat worth the wait. Once we finally left the coffee shop, we met back with the other group at the internet café and rushed over to lunch because we were running late.

To fill us up for the next few hours ahead, we had potatoes, rice, spaghetti, salad and papaya juice (FYI for cilantro lovers: Roma Santa is the place for you). Once we were done eating, we all signed out and split into groups of 4+ and started exploring Riobamba on our own. At first, we were all a little confused on how to read the maps, but eventually we adjusted and we were able to find our way.  I can’t believe we were able to find our way in a city that we aren’t familiar with, WITHOUT OUR PHONES!! Who knew we could actually read a map in 2022- TAKE THAT GEN X! We went to places like Plaza Roja and a supermarket called Tia where we were all able to buy some Ecuadorian snacks as well as snacks that reminded us of home. After a long day of exploring the city and buying souvenirs, some of us ended in bankruptcy… (*cough cough* Imani). However, we personally think it was worth it because we can’t get most of these things back in America. We all wanted to take a little bit of Ecuador back home with us. When we were all done exploring the city, we headed back to Roma Santa and Isabel made us french fries for dinner because it was specifically emphasized that we could not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES eat any street food.

Overall, being leader(s) of the day has taught us patience, empathy, and compassion. We get to lead by example while exploring Riobamba.

Sending love from Ecuador to Mom, Dad, Meme, Pepe, and whoever else is reading this… miss you all and see you on Friday. I know meme and pepe are missing me in the house (wishing you luck with Grandma) and I hope you don’t miss my dancing in the kitchen too much (don’t worry I’m dancing it up here!!) <3 (from Jleigh)

Hola family!!!! how are y’all I know y’all are missing me without the comedian in the house! No darling, you’re not the comedian. Anywho, I miss you all and cant wait to see y’all on Friday. Sending lots of love! (From Shay)