Sorry I haven’t been as up to date as I (or my mom) would like to have been during this month. So I am going to give a list of all the highlights of my first week:
1. Both my phone alarm and the airport hotel alarm wake up call didn’t work. As a result, my family and I got up at 6:30 a.m (instead of 5 o’clock in the morning), rushed to airport, and I made it on the plane 15 minutes to spare.
2. After a delayed flight in Quito, we missed our flight to Cuenca. Fortunately Copa airlines (what we were flying) compensated this setback with a prepaid stay at the Donn Carlton and food at the hotel. Our dinner included this potato soup that was absolutely amazing. The next day we had a nice tour of Quito before heading to Cuenca.
3. Heading to Cuenca was an ordeal because the flight didn’t reschedule our flight and other setbacks. After what felt like forever, we finally got on the plane. I sat in the last row, but it was only for an hour.
4. We finally made it to the hostel that will be living in for the next month. Marta, one of the owners of the hostel, along with her daughter, makes us breakfast and dinner. One of my worries going to Ecuador was that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything because of my gluten and casein (dairy) free diet. Marta, however, has been so accommodating to the point where I have the motivation to get up for an 8 a.m breakfast. She bought me soy milk for my coffee and “queso de soya” (it’s actually tofu but it’s the thought that counts). Any way, long story short, she’s the best.
5. The rest of the week has consisted of briefings (the actual class part of this trip) and filming. We started filming on Friday and it was pretty cool. Even though we had to get up at 5 in the morning (my alarm worked this time) and some things didn’t go as planned, my first time working in sound was still a great experience.
6. My classmates and I went to so many restaurants for lunch this week, it was insane! Cuenca has a lot of diverse types of food. Not only do they have Latin American food, there are also Indian, Thai, and lots of KFC. I didn’t really expect that coming here. It’s cool not just experiencing Ecuadorean cuisine, but all the other flavors Cuenca has to offer. Ironically, for all the food that I have been eating, I actually feel like I’m losing weight. Not only are portions here smaller (for the most part), but also I’m walking on more inclines (hills) then I have ever done on an elliptical and more so than I ever have done living in Florida. The altitude is still something to get used to. For instance, every time I walk up these five flights of stairs to the park, I feel like I’m about to die each time. Either I’m out of shape or still need some acclimating. I tell myself the prior.
7. Today, my class and I went zip lining. I’m not scared of heights, I just don’t like looking down. The way the course was set up was high on a mountain. Each line got higher and longer. The worst part of it for me was when it was time to brake. You hear this loud smashing sound or it looks like you’re about it hit a tree. Next, we went to the hot springs. My favorite parts was being in hot water and the mud baths. The mud made my skin so soft, it was great! There were also saunas, contrasting pools, and box showers. It was a great way to end the week.
All in all, I had a great first week in Cuenca and can’t wait for what else there is to come!