Monday, 18 June 2012

The end has come for the Quito 6!

COUNTRY: Ecuador
PROJECT: Teaching & Care Work
WRITTEN BY: Lauren Gaudion

So we´ve reached the end of our 3 month expedition to Ecuador. Jasmine, Blake and Sam all caught their plane home last night, while Holly began her 62 hour bus journey to Cuzco. Jeff and I are still here, Jeff flying off to the States tonight, and me to London on Wednesday.

Now I know all of us will be asked the same question when we get home, ¨How was it?!?¨. To save your breath, I can tell you all on behalf of the Quito 6 that this experience has been beyond incredible. For me personally, it is more than I would have ever hoped for!

During our last week in Ecuador, we stayed in Quito, saying goodbye to our work placements, chatting with Marcelo about the trip, and hitting the town for the last few times. Over the past two weeks of going out in La Mariscal, we´ve claimed one bar as our own - named the Attic Bar. We would dominate the pool table there until around 10:30pm, then head off to the dance floor where we´d make new friends and dance the night away.

The music is pumping, and fortunately the drinks don´t taste as deathly alcoholic here as everywhere else! Also I might mention that last Wednesday night, we even saw our old Spanish teacher from the language academy, Alex, partying at the Attic bar. She says that we´ve all improved on our Spanish a lot. =)

Speaking of my Spanish abilities, I was telling Marcelo the other night how staying in a non-English speaking country really does help you learn the local language. For instance, I never thought that one of the few Spanish words I would learn while I was here was ´diaper´, which is ´pañale´. Although I suppose after changing pañales for the past two months I would have to know it´s meaning!

Also this week, Holly and I finally saw Old Town for the first time with Sam. I´m so disappointed that we didn´t go earlier, because it is definitely the most beautiful part of Quito. Although I´m yet to go to Italy, the streets remind me of what I think the Italian streets would look like. And don´t even get me started on the churches! There was La Basilica, which is the biggest church I think anyone has ever seen (Holly recognising it´s Gothic features owing to her architecture course at university).

It looked like a castle, and we spent around 45 minutes sitting out the front discussing what we would do with the place if we happened to buy it as a home. After La Basilica, we found the San Francisco church. It doesn´t really look like a church on the outside, but inside the detail and beauty of the decor is just exquisite. The church is made out of 500 pounds of gold, and took 170 years to build!

I went back today to attend a church ceremony there. Although I didn´t understand much of what the priest was saying, I could still admire the statues and paintings and detailed walls, as well as fitting in a prayer for my family and friends at the end.

I´m going back to work placement for two more days before flying out of the country, and I can tell that my last day is going to be teary. I´ve become so close with some of the children, and I don´t want to believe that this will probably be the last time I ever see them.

Thursday was Holly´s last day, and as a means of thanks from the nurses, she received a ceritificate of appreciation. From what we could decipher on the certificate, they said the cutest and sweetest things about her. Holly´s words exactly were ¨This is the best ceritificate I´ve ever had¨. I´m so excited to get mine on Tuesday to show off to my friends!

So folks, that´s all. I´m sorry that I´m not naturally a good writer and thus these blogs have bored you, but at least you know the gist of everything we´ve been up to. To Jasmine, Sam and Blake, have a safe trip home to your families. To Holly, Jeff and I, let our adventures continue! To my mum, I´ll see you in London in four days and counting! And to everyone else, I´ll be seeing you soon! Xoxo, the Quito 6.

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