My favorite part of the trip was floating down the river. One of the lodge boats would take us upstream a bit and then we would hop out and float back down in our lifejackets (well technically we were supposed to wear them but seeing as they hampered our swimming ability they were quickly shed). I don´t think there´s anything better after spending a morning hiking and getting all sticky then going swimming afterwards. To get back to Quito we took a two hour canoe ride in the pouring rain (at least it was warm) and then a 30 min flight which is the shortest flight i´ve ever been on. the funny thing was they actually served us snacks and drinks on the flight, whereas in the US you don´t get food even on a cross country flight. Plus there were seats for about 120 people but there were only 20 people on the flight. So a very strange flight all the way around! We had one more day in Quito where i got my fill of sushi and ice cream and then it was back to my site. It was very nice finally having visitors (I admit I was a bit jealous of the other volunteers who´d been traveling around with their friends and family). Thanks to my parents for the pics, and i´ll try not to take so long to update next time.
Yikes, it´s been over a month since I posted. I meant to write when I was in Quito at the end of the trip, but didn´t have time. Since then I´ve been at my site and there isn´t really reliable internet now that the phone lines aren´t working well. The last two weeks with my parents went well, we spent a week at my site and a week at a jungle lodge in the amazon basin. Getting to my site was interesting because I forgot that Thursdays the bus I usually take doesn`t leave from Latacunga but from this other town 15 minutes away where there is a big market. So we got on the other bus that goes to my town, but unfortunately there was a big group of exchange students on the bus and there weren´t any seats. As a result we stood for the first two hours of the ride. But we all survived so it´s all good. We then spent a week doing my favorite hikes around town as well as attending the social highlight of the week, the soccer games on sunday. After that it was off to the jungle lodge, which was in a beautiful location right on one of the largest rivers that feed into the amazon. One of the pictures is of the grubs that are a local delicacy there. They are quite tasty roasted, although the locals also eat them raw which is a bit much for me. We saw a lot of birds, as well as the smallest monkey in the world (the actual name of it is escaping me at the moment).