First of all, there are four members of our crew that you haven’t met yet. They are:
tomas, cookie, chiquita and elvis!
They live in our compound with Giovanna and Luis. Here is Luis opening up the electrified gates to drive us to work.
Between yesterday and today, we finished up another mural:
Tomorrow is our last day of volunteering. Collectively, we have clocked fifty two hours of service work already! Although it has been tiring standing in one spot painting for four or five hours at a time (sometimes in the hot sun) we both feel so grateful to be doing something to make the school a more beautiful place for the students. Every once in a while someone -today it was three police officers- comes in off the street to check out our work, which makes it feel worthwhile. We know that the job is going so much faster because there are four of us working together and we can’t wait to be down here with a whole team of students (you guys!): what a difference we can make when we work together!
Yesterday afternoon we took an amazing drive through the Andes Mountains to get to some hot springs. Here is one of many beautiful views along the way:
Luis drove us there and we were glad for it. Driving in Ecuador is interesting and takes some extra skill. There are winding sections of the mountainous roads that are still under construction; Luis had to drive over gravel and around boulders to navigate through those sections of “road.” We also passed several areas where rock slides had partially blocked the road. Boy did we need to relax in those hot springs by the time we got there! 🙂
Naturally heated by a nearby volcano, the water was insanely hot and almost difficult to get into at first, even though it was pretty cold out, since we were so high up in the mountains (almost 11,000 feet above sea level…think Rocky Mountains)…With time, we got used to it though. Interestingly, the road leading up to the hot springs was on the “cinnamon trail” which is the route that the Spanish conquistador Francisco De Orellana took in 1542 when he crossed the Andes searching for gold. Surrounded by lush forests and trees with red trumpet flowers that served as fountains for all different colored hummingbirds, we loved relaxing in the hot water and left feeling refreshed.
We can’t wait to see what else Ecuador has to offer and look forward to Saturday when we head to Galapagos!
p.s. here is a little video of our temporary home and the visitor who came over from our neighbor’s yard.