From Ecuador, with Love!

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Dear friends from home, 

Summer camp is so crazy, you’ll never believe all the things that are happening! I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that it is almost August. 

Alright, I know this isn’t a summer camp letter. But, it sorta is?

Ecuador was really amazing. It started as a fairly random decision primarily based on the low cost of flights to Quito. I guess we always knew we would hit the Galapagos, but we didn’t originally intend to dedicate a ton of time to Ecuador. Looking back, I am really glad it got a solid 6 weeks. 

Ecuador was a great way to break us in to South America. The people were super friendly, it was insanely affordable, and parts of it reminded us of home (while other parts felt surreally different). 

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For starters, we had almuerzo almost every day. “Almuerzo” is Spanish for “Lunch,” but, in Ecuador it means juice, soup, a protein, rice, a side of fries, and maybe a dessert. For only 2-4 dollars! We ate these everywhere from a single room restaurant that more closely resembled a living room from our grandparents’ homes to larger, chain-style restaurants. 

Possibly the weirdest moment was the realization that South America (or at least Ecuador) treats toilet paper like gold. To make my English teachers proud, I can relate it to gold in two separate ways. One, they make you pre-select how much you want outside of the stalls so you don’t waste any! Or, they just refuse to give you any without paying for it. Two, the don’t let you flush it. Like gold, it would clog all the drains, I suppose. It’s definitely one of the more noticeable adjustments to living in South America. 

I guess if I had to leave you with a quick summary, I would say I’m glad we went to Ecuador. Got to visit Quito. Didn’t need to spend two full weeks in Montañita, but it was definitely worth a stopover (Lito’s and Frank’s specifically — and one night of clubbing). And lastly, I miss all the Almuerzo’s, because in Chile they cost SO MUCH MORE. 

And, to prove I am learning something on this trip. Puedo hablar en Español mucho mejor. No sé todos las palabras, pero cuando necesito decir algo, puedo me explico bueno. Especialmente cuando necesito el subjuntivo. 

Ciao!

Matt