We are having technical difficulties – so no pictures, but atleast we have words.

Today was more relaxed then usual considering we woke up at 830 am, which was a good change considering we were up for around 18 hours the previous day.  Breakfast was sandwiches and bananas complete with hot chocolate of course.  After breakfast everyone had an hour of free time.  Some of us went to the nearby cornerstore and sweet smelling bakeries.  Other people decided to stay back to bond and play some games at the hostel.  Afterwards we headed downtown and decided to go to a local internet cafe and we got to talk to our families.  Then we had lunch at our usual place, Nativa, while inside we split into 3 groups to venture into Riobamba.  2 groups headed to the central market to buy souveniers and shop locally.  For a few days leading up to the free day, people were feeling tired and homesick, but after most people spoke to their families, they seem more refreshed and ready to embrace the second week. It was really encouraging and motivating to see everyone happy and  smiling again.

Hi, it´s Amay, and as Marcos said, we were split into 3 groups, and I was in the group with Ms. B.  We had 6 people and we went to the local super market first and bought some snacks.  It took awhile finding it as we were using a map and we went the wrong way.  Later at 230 we decided to head the open market to meet the other groups.  But we went the wrong way again, and finally at 305 we made it!  We bought some ponchos.  At 320 we met up again and divided into 2 groups, one that wanted ice cream and the other wanted to continue shopping.  I was in the one that did not go for ice cream.  We reconnected at Parque Maldonado at 345 and took our private bus back to the hostel.  Some people went to the corner store again, as it was free time and called home again.  630 was dinner and at 730 was our nightly meeting and lights out at 10pm.

Our most challenging aspect of the day, besides reading the maps and getting lost, was crossing the street safely.  Some people bargained, some people felt the need to pay more, because in the scheme of things the goods were high quality and inexpensive compared to the US. I thought it would be challenging being Lider Del Dia for a free day, but all my fellow students were flexible and responsible with the changing rules and schedule.

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