From hard work to hard play, this blog post includes some of my favorite days so far in Ecuador! First off, me and a couple of wonderful girls spent a day of the celebrating the holiday called Carnaval in a small town called Guaranda where the festivities are real. We arrived late in the after coming back from a hike, so we missed the parade but still saw some of the extravagantly dressed members of different groups walking around in their colorful costumes. It gave us plenty of time to pretty much walk around the city and fully engage in the other side of the festivities that occur. After eating some street food like the pig that you can be seen at the head of this blog, we bought a couple of cans of foam to spray other people. During this holiday people spend time spraying others and throwing water from their roofs onto the cold, unsuspecting people below. For us, being a very obvious group of tourists, it was almost necessary to arm ourselves with these foam sprayers. We waged war against many kids, and even when we walked through the crowd of people our age at the free concert they put on in the middle of town we were still attacked from all sides. It was spectacular fun and one of the most unique experiences I have had!
The other photos in this post are from a weekend where I went with three girls from the Service Learning and Internship class and the Director of a very special program to a community in the Tropical Andes called the Mache Chindul Reserve. Mónica Gonzalez, the woman who took us to the reserve was the Director of the Foundation for the Conservation of the Tropical Andes. The program had four basic components, community development, research, environmental education and conservation. Unfortunately, due to budget issues, this organization (which had fomerly recieved a National Geographic Award amongst others) has shut down recently. I don't have many pictures to show for this weekend because we were completely muddy and sweaty the entire time and always moving. The day we spent in the reserve consisted of hours of hauling baby trees from the muddy garden in a community member's back yard, to large trucks. Then we drove all around the rough dirt roads of the community giving them out by the hundreds until 10 pm (with some delicious food breaks in between). After the work was done, with the little remaining energy we had left, the other members of the group brought us to a quinceñera that was happening that night in the community. It was a great experience! I don't know if what we did that day had any impact at all, but it provided us a way to get to know a new part of Ecuador that we would never have seen otherwise.
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<div>My name is Chloe Trifilio. I am an Environmental Science student with a minor in Recreation at Ithaca College in New <span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">York, but for one semester I will be studying abroad in Quito, Ecuador! I am originally from the great state of Vermont </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">where I love to hike, bike, climb, kayak and generally explore the Green Mountains. I am also on the Ultimate Frisbee </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">team and I'm very excited to see how Ecuadorians get down on the field. I hereby promise to use this blog to show </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">everything that I see and do in Ecuador, which will include climbing, playing frisbee, exploring the city and a trip to the </span><span style="font-size: 13.008px; line-height: 1.538em;">Amazon!</span></div>