14 Oct More from Ecuador and Street Art in Greece . . .
Nicole ’17, Ecuador
Our time in the Bua community with the Tsachila tribe was a whirlwind of fun. When we first arrived, I didn’t know if I would be able to adjust to the very different style of living. The fact that we had to sleep in mosquito nets worried me since I knew that meant there were many terrifying insects waiting for me to find them…or them to fine me! But after the first night, I got used to it, and it was very comforting to have the net. When I was younger, I always wanted a canopy bed, and this was pretty similar! I remember telling myself on the first night I only had 9 more days and could push through. Little did I know that by the end of our stay I would be wishing I could stay another week. Over the next 9 days we experienced hand washing our clothes in the river, learning about the Tsachila culture, receiving Tsa’Fiki names from our guide Wu Kela, and eating delicious food every day. Our chefs Deborah, Monica, and Maria were so friendly and welcoming. They prepared plantains in every way I could imagine: mashed, fried, cooked, juiced, you name it and they made it. It was a good thing we filled ourselves up on great food since during the day we worked hard in the garden. When we first arrived, they had done nothing with the garden in years; it was just a kind of a path surrounded by dense rainforest. Throughout our many days in the community, I watched our hard work transform that dense rainforest into neat sections of gardens with pretty bamboo signs carved by yours truly (even though Nikki was the one who had to go back and fix my messy work). On our last evening, Rayna, Siena, Maria, and I did yoga under the moon. After our last dinner of plantains, rice, and chicken, all the students played hide and seek in the empty huts that did not have beds in them yet. It was dark everywhere, and the boys would jump out of no where, taking me by surprise and sending blood curdling screams through the air, followed by bouts of laughter. It was a great note to end our time in the Bua community. I’m so happy to have stayed with the Tsachila tribe for a long period of time since I got to immerse myself in the culture. It was a very rewarding opportunity that I feel lucky to have experienced.
The Greece group enjoyed a Street Art Tour (with their guide, Achilles!) of Athens. This was their last activity before a debrief and farewell dinner. Here are some pics: