Nearing the end of our trip, we finally had the last chance to take on another exploration of the city Riobamba. After our stay in Ecuador, I could truly say that what we learned throughout this trip was immeasurable. As usual, we started our day with breakfast at the hostel, followed by a program seminar in which we were given time to reflect on the memories we formed throughout the past few weeks in a letter written to our donors. Afterward, we had lunch at the usual spot, Nativa, and proceeded to exploring the city.

However, today was special because it featured our program coordinator’s 17 year-old brother, Darío, who helped us greatly in recommending which snacks to buy. Special thanks to Diego for bringing his little brother along with us on our journey around the city to the supermarket which featured the amazing local chocolates and coffee from the regions of Ecuador. During the span of 30 minutes, we were able to see another side of Ecuador, the industrialized side. It is amazing how globalization works, as I stumbled across imported nutella and chocolate from Germany. After a long process of evaluation as to which products to buy, we finally decided to walk to the park. Although we split up and went our separate ways afterward, everyone in this delegation was able to embark on an adventure throughout the city. One group decided to go call their family, another to souvenir shops, and I stayed with Diego’s group to go to a cafe.

At the café with Diego, our in-country staff, I noticed that he had a surprise for our delegation at dinner time. Oblivious to what it was, I did not really bother insisting him on spilling the beans. To my surprise, Diego fulfilled my wish by allowing our delegation to meet the second delegation of Riobamba. Earlier this week, I had told him that I wanted him to arrange for us to meet the second delegation, as many of my close friends are currently in that delegation. However, Diego told me that our schedules did not overlap and that it was impossible for us to meet up. While walking towards the restaurant that would serve us dinner, my eyes landed on a group of around twenty people wearing colorful ponchos, only to find out that it was the second delegation. Big love to Diego for making today so much more meaningful for us and allowing us to meet up and have dinner together. During our meeting with the second delegation, we were able to learn about the experiences that both our delegations have had on this trip, only to find the many differences between our trips despite our similar destination. However, I can say one thing is that I love my delegation and would not trade them for anyone else, as the times that we were together are special and belonged only to us.

Today was truly a very fun day and would like to give special thanks again to Diego for giving us this awesome opportunity to explore the city and meet new people. (THANK YOU DIEGO!!!) Playing freeze tag and basketball along with the second delegation was a blast, and although it was a short amount of time, I can truly say that I am glad to have met all of them.

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