Day 10 – Free Day #2

Today, our free day began with a half-hour later wake up call at 8:00 where people woke up to Hot Chelle Rae’s bop, “I Like it Like That”- the greatest song of our generation. After eating breakfast at the hostel, the group had a bit of free time to play cards or get a bit more sleep in before really starting the day. We boarded the bus around 10:15 to go to downtown Riobamba and start our free time in the city.
After wandering the streets for a bit (and getting a tiny bit lost), we found the marketplace that a few students had visited on the previous free day. Unfortunately, most of the shops were closed, it being Sunday, but luckily a few shops were open so people could buy ponchos, hats, and scarves. The group then walked to the restaurant Nativa to eat lunch and meet up with Diego, one of the local program coordinators so that he could show us the way to a place we could buy some quality coffee and chocolate. After lunch, we split into a couple of groups. One group went to walk around the city while the other went to the mall where we would be able to buy snacks, but more importantly Ecuadorian coffee and chocolate. Diego proved very knowledgeable while students swarmed him asking for all of his expert local opinions on the best brands of food to buy. We then went back to a park in the downtown area where the group would split once more. Some went to the Internet cafe to call home, catch up with friends, or listen to some music. Others went to get crepes, go to a bakery, walk around the city, and get ice cream. It was a bit difficult to find things to do because most things were shut down, but we had a fun time out in the city regardless. We had a bit of time waiting for the bus where we got to enjoy the park and see some cute dogs (who we weren’t allowed to touch- arguably some people’s hardest challenge of the day).
We came back to the hostel and students prepared for their fifth and final English class. People planned fun activities for the last day like parties and games for their students’ last day. We ate dinner and had our nightly meeting where we got to reflect on our day and go over our schedule for tomorrow. The meeting was brief, so we got a lot of free time in the evening where people played soccer, played cards, listened to music, and relaxed before bed.
Being the Lider Del Dia today was a bit different because we were split up into smaller groups and each group had to have their own leader. It was a bit challenging to put people into groups so that everybody could go everywhere they wanted in the city, but once that was done, I got to relax and enjoy the city with my friends.
Today was a very fun and successful outing in the city. People got to buy souvenirs, eat great food, and explore downtown. We’re all very excited for tomorrow to work on the CAP!

-Zack

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