Monday, November 7, 2011

off to the Páramo

Well, my family just whisked me off to celebrate the ferriada (holidays exactly one month before fiestas de Quito) on the beautiful beaches of the province Esmereldas. We spend our days on the beach and our nights....on the beach. There was seafood, swimming, and coconuts everywhere. However, returning from this sunny, hot, costal climate I am leaving tomorrow for my ISP!!!!!!!

I am going to the reserve of Cayambe-Coca wayyyyyy up in the Andes at about 4,000m and it is going to be SO cold. I will specifically be living in Oyacachi, a small mountain village and working on a project with two Ecuadorians about the Andean tapir. Specifically the study is trying to figure out whether the Andean tapir is an efficient seed disperser in the Páramo which means we will be collecting it's feces and dissecting them to see if there are more seeds, leaves or stems. All in all it's a pretty exciting project.

I have no idea about my internet situation so I may not be blogging for a while, but you never know here. Plaza Gutierrez, the cloud forest village on top of a mountain which we had to walk an hour to get to had internet access in one building in the town so I have faith for Oyacachi which at least has road access.

I am also going a month without access to showers or laundry. The only bathing I will be doing is in natural hot springs (WOAH!) and the only washing of clothes will be by hand. hmmmm. I am also living in a tent (I have yet to purchase a pillow) and cooking all my own meals with my two advisors. It will be an experience for sure.

I am extremely sad to be leaving my host family, I will miss them A TON while I'm studying in the Páramo, but fortunately I get to return for the wedding of my host brother Robert. I am really happy to say that I love my host family, I recommend them for any student who is coming here and I will definitely miss them. I would be the happiest if they ever came to the U.S. to visit. They seem skeptical whenever I mention this however haha.
Anyways, it's been a wild ecuadorian ride and it will only continue with this adventure in Cayambe-Coca.

ciao, and can't wait to see St. Mikes campus again!

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