Hi, my name is Alex and I was the leader of the day today. Today was free day number one, which means we got to decide what we wanted to do today. We woke up at 8:15 and had breakfast at Nativa at 9:00. After breakfast we got to call our families (Hi Mom!) and tell them about our trips and check in on life at home. After we called our loved ones, we had lunch at Nativa at 12:00. After lunch we walked to the market in Riobamba where we got to see fruits, veggies and meats as far as the eyes could see. We then walked to a market where they were selling clothing and souvenirs and we all got gifts for our families and friends, and worked on our bargaining skills. We then came back to the hotel and had a mid trip survey and dinner at Nativa at 6:00. We had bonding time at the end of the night before bed time where we answered questions about ourselves in small groups to get to know each other a little bit better.

Some cool things we learned today were that we could negotiate the prices down with the vendors and that most of the items we bought were handcrafted and authentic. When we went to the farmers market and got to see the people selling their own produce as well as meats with all innards intact. This was dope because in the United States they clean up the animals more due to various health regulations and the scale of the market is much smaller so it isn’t something we wouldn’t see every day. We had an interesting discussion tonight comparing what we saw today at the markets versus what we would see at markets in the United States.

It was exciting to get to see the city again and start to get a better feel about where everything is located. I am excited for our next free day when we will get to explore even more and just straight up have a blast.