Hi everyone! We only have 3 full days left in Riobamba and you can bet we’re making the most of it. Today’s itinerary was full and to say we are all exhausted tonight is an understatement. We started our day early (many woke up begrudgingly). After a quick stop at Roma Santa to grab breakfast sandwiches on the go, we started our trip via bus to Chimborazo. Along the way, we stopped a few times to take some stunning pictures (you’ll get to see those below) of the Ecuadorian landscape. Shout out to our Chimborazo tour guides, Eddie and Alfredo, for sharing their expertise with us and making the experience engaging. We enjoyed Alfredo’s ritual song and prayer in Kichwa and Spanish to welcome us to Chimborazo and ask for Mother Earth’s, or Pachamama’s, blessing at the entrance.

The final approach in the bus was shaky to put it mildly, but our driver Alonso handled it marvelously. The change in altitude was a struggle for everyone, but props to us for pushing through and making the most of it. The first hike had an unfair distance to difficulty ratio, but everyone was able to capture some amazing views from the Chimborazo monument. After some snacks courtesy of Leydi and Paul, some of us were able to hike for a second time. We managed to capture some pictures of the Ecuadorian vicuña. Some of us (*cough* Rhea *cough*) wanted to take the vicuñas home, but unfortunately we were told no. We left Chimborazo later than scheduled, but since when is that new here? We got a few photos of some alpacas as well.

Our time at Chimborazo was tiring to say the least and the bus ride back to Riobamba was eerily quiet. However Isabel made us a filling lunch of pork, chicken soup, rice and salad. She even made us a meringue dessert since we were told a stern no on purchasing said dessert at one of the many plazas we visited yesterday. As always, shout out to Isabel and Nelson for providing us with amazing food and welcoming atmosphere at Roma Santa.

After lunch, we spent time organizing ourselves (or attempting to organize ourselves) for the CAP (community action project) project tomorrow. Rhea, Reid, Jeremy, and Bryan went with Paul to purchase CAP materials and returned successfully. The rest of us spent our time playing round after round of intense card games. Who knew Spit (the card game) could get so violent? We were also able to enjoy and share many of the snacks that were purchased yesterday during free time. And we’re not gonna talk about the 2 chairs that we broke today…. They’re all good…

Next comes what I think was everyone’s favorite part of the day – MOVIE NIGHT! Thanks to Shay and Elizabeth for organizing our meeting room into a nice movie room and to Leydi for coming in clutch with the bluetooth speaker tonight. While we may have started off the night with some classic technical difficulties, everyone had a blast. Paul and Leydi brought us pizza and we enjoyed watching Hustle on Netflix. Everyone brought down blankets and pillows, creating a comforting atmosphere. Afterwards, we managed to clean up efficiently and got through our nightly meeting quickly. We even got some delicious cake for dessert.

The day gave us some excellent lessons, as well as some breathtaking photography sessions. The attitude difference at Chimborazo was a challenge, but everyone persevered while still being aware of their personal limits. We were able to stop and appreciate the beauty and unbelievable scale of the land around us. Ecuador is a gorgeous land and we’ve enjoyed every moment. Goodbye for now!

(Hello to Mom, Dad and Megan!! I’m not dead. I’m having so much fun but I can’t wait to see you on Friday! I hope you enjoyed your trip and give Rocket and Gracie a hug for me!! -Lauren)