Here comes that time to say goodbye to Ecuador. As the leader of the day, I woke up at 5 in the morning in order to ensure I was ready to wake up all my friends up. It was an adventure trying to wake everyone up especially since it was so early in the morning. Never the less, we were all at the meeting spot with our suitcases at 6:20 ready to head to the city of Quito. The bus ride to Quito was about 5 hours due to all the traffic we experienced on our way here. During the bus ride, we mostly slept, ate breakfast, and ate snacks. We were all relieved to get out the bus after the 5 hours.
One of the first stops we made in Quito was to the museum of Intinan. There the tour guide taught us a few things about the amazon, the customs of the native people, and most importantly the effects on being on the actually equator line. Our first stop was at the Amazon exhibit in which we were shown a baby spider (which didn’t look like a baby) and a snake that roamed the Amazon. She also demonstrated the shrunken heads of humans and animals that were common back in the day. The method used to shrink the heads was to boil them in water and herbs. Although we may think that this was cruel, the people of the community saw it as an honor to have their head shrunken. After we visited this exhibit, we went to a cave like area that was filled with clay pots and a dead human body. At first we were alarmed that people would just leave a persons body to decay in the open but then we learned that the reason behind this was that people believed in the afterlife. Since they believed in the afterlife, they let their bodies out in the open so that their spirit would come out and continue to live on. Another interesting fact that my group learned was that if the husband of the family died then the wife would be buried alive with the husband in a clay pot. This fact was a bit alarming for all of us. The last and most exciting part of the tour was when we got to step on the equator line. The tour guide showed us several ways in which the equator effected the movement of certain forces. For example, while on the equator line we were able to balance an egg on a nail since all the forces were directed down. In addition, we saw how the path on the water down a drain would change from going straight down to going counter clock wise in a spiral once the drain was moved north towards the U.S. This experience was very rare and something that we would never forget.
We ended our day off by having a program seminar where we discusses our most significant moments, what we learned about ourselves, what we learned about leadership, and who inspired us the most throughout the whole experience. It was agreed upon that we should be more open with new people and that being a good leader requires a person to put themselves in the back sit in order to help others. I personally want to share the person who inspired me the most because he holds a special place in my heart. His name is Danny and he is one of the closest friends I have on this trip. He has gone through some personal things that could have dragged him down in life but he rose up and became the most loving person I know. He brightens up my day and makes me laugh every second of the day. The positive outlook he has in life inspires me to be more positive because I know other people have it worse then me. The friendships we made here were ones that we will never forget. We will all try to keep in touch in some way. I Love You All!