Today I had a huge Marketing midterm and a presentation in my Anthropology class, so unfortunately, I did not get to go with Anina and Jessica to the beach in Manta this weekend. I would have had to leave last Thursday night to take the 10 hr bus ride, and miss my Friday classes, which are the classes where the profs actually take attendance and care, and the ones that I've already missed the most...so I couldn't do it, lame, I know!
Emily also stayed behind.
Last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, we both decided that we wanted to go to Mass. After our Pitzer Seminar (which was, unfortunately, so boring that I kept falling asleep in class) I went over to Emily's house to drop off our stuff and walk to her family's church. After Emily made sure, with her map (which she LOVES) that we knew where we were going, we left to the 6:30 p.m. Mass. The earlier Mass was just leaving and we were easily able to find a bench to sit on. As communion started, I noticed that Emily had to sit down. I asked her what was going on and she told me that she wasn't feeling well and things were blurry. We decided that it was a good idea to go outside and get some fresh air, so we stood up. As we were trying to walk through the packed church, Emily starts to faint. Terrified, I grab her and call for a man to help me with her because I had no idea what to do. Thankfully, Emily's host family (who had been standing in the back because they had come in late)saw what had happened and came to the rescue, as well as doctor who has been told to come help. After a little less than a minute Emily came back to reality and didn't know what had happened. We took her out and the doctor suggested some sugar, so her mom went to buy her some Coke and candy. This was one of the scarriest things that has ever happened to me, mostly because I felt so helpless and I didn't know what to do. Emily ended up going to the doctor and getting some blood work done on Friday, so she couldn't go the beach either. She is okay now :)
Because we decided to stay, we decided to explore Quito and do all the touristy things that we hadn't done yet. On Friday we went to el Mercado Artesanal, where they sell all kinds of souvenir type things. Everything was really cool, but we decided on not buying anything because we have yet to go to Otavalo, where all kinds of textile work is sold. Actually, I lied, Emily bought a pair of cool earrings made out of painted melon seeds and some alpaca socks and I bought two nose rings to replace my white and blues ones that I lost down the drain. We pretty much walked all afternoon around las Amazonas and ended up at Plaza Fosh in el Mariscal (also known as Gringolandia, for obvious reasons), where all the bars and night clubs are. We continued on to Crepes & Waffles, the group's usual hangout after our Wednesday Pitzer Seminar. This place is sooo good! We usually endulge ourselves with yummy chocolate/nutella/fruit/ice cream waffles, but today we had actual, salty foods. We shared an amazing Crepe Poblano with avocado and lime sauce, as well as a Pita Siciliana, which was pretty much a pizza. That night we ended up meeting up with Alex (who also didn't go to the beach -not sure why) and made some new American friends who have already been here for a semester. We went to few bars and danced, met random Italian and Brazilian men, and needless to say, it was a long, and very fun night.
On Saturday afternoon we went to el Parque Carolina to visit el Jardin Botanico. La Carolina is a super sketchy (and huge -with courts for all the sports, a lake with boats, a river, horses, pretty much everything you can think of) park near the Pitzer office where I have to walk by every Wed. to get from USFQ to our seminar. (I once got followed by two guys who at first were trying to sell me some candy but tried to put their arms on my shoulders and asked me for my phone number.) We saw all kinds of plants from different ecological zones (much to Emily's delight, who is super interested in ecology). I really enjoyed the walk under the sun through all kinds of exotic flowers, especially the orchids, which were just amazingly beautiful. We then took the bus home, but not before stopping at the local Forever 21 store, aka Fashion XXI, which we had been thinking about visiting for the longest time since we always pass by it on the bus.
On Sunday I woke up and did some studying for my test. I then went downtown to meet my Ecuadorian parents for lunch, but not before meeting the new wawa! Lorena, my brother Diego's wife finally had her wawa (or huahua, not sure, quichua for baby/child)! His name is Diego Andres and he is soooo adorable and sooo tiny. I have a new nephew who is also a Liga fan, as he is already sporting his new Liga uniform, with hat and all, that Diego's best friend brought him.
I then went to el centro to meet up with Emily at the Centro Cultural Metropolitano where she was eating lunch. After she finished, we walked around a photography exhibit that displayed international photos of problems such as poverty, violence, political issues, etc. Cool, but depressing.
We then walked around la Plaza Grande and visited various churches including, la Plaza de San Francisco and La Merced, where there were all kinds of portraits of the same vigin making appearances/miracles in different situations throughout history. We also went to Mass (and avoided the entrance fee) at La Compañía de Jesús, where everything is covered in gold, supposedly about 7 tons!
We didn't get to go to the beach or see Aventura ):, but it was still a great weekend!