Final Days in Cumbayá

Madison Hurley
February 7, 2017

My last week here in Cumbayá is bittersweet. I wish I got more time to explore the mainland and I hate to say goodbye to my host family but the Galapagos Islands are waiting for me. I had a bunch of things I wanted to get done during my one-month stay here in Cumbayá/Quito and although I didn’t complete all of them, I did make it to Baños…Finally!! The marine track returned from our coastal field trip on Friday leaving us one final weekend to spend here on the mainland and I just had to go to Baños. My friends and I only spent one full day there. We headed out early Saturday morning and returned late at night, it was so worth it because I finally made it to the swing. The minute I arrived in Ecuador I haven’t stopped talking about the “Swing at the End of the World” so it was so surreal getting to go to it.  It was foggy at the top of the mountain where the swing was so you couldn’t quite see the mountains or what was below you. That was probably for the best since I am afraid of heights but I am sure the view without fog is remarkable.

The Swing at the End of the World (Casa del Arbol) - Baños

There were a lot of cool things to do in Baños and we did quite a lot for only being there one day. We went to the swing, did a few other activities and then ended the day visiting a waterfall and shopping. I’ve bought so many things at artisanal markets that I am not really sure how to fit them in my suitcase to the Galapagos but I will figure something out. I am most likely going to buy things in the islands too so hopefully I can send some things home when my mom visits. This final week is pretty busy for me and because of that I am sure it’s going to go by fast but I hope not so fast that I can’t enjoy it. I just have so much to do, like re-packing up my life, breaking larger bills into smaller ones, buying a few things for the islands, writing my paper for class and the list drags on. Don’t get me wrong I am sooooooo excited to head to the islands especially because I really love sea lions and they are everywhere, I am just slightly stressed out and sad because I settled down here and was just getting into the swing of things and now I got to pack up and move out. I know in the end all these struggles will be worth it and once I’m in the islands I’ll be having the time of my life. I haven’t gotten home sick yet but I have gotten physically sick so I’m sure the homesickness is coming. I am missing a few things at home like my three-year anniversary with my boyfriend, Easter and the birth of my second niece/nephew (I already have one of each). I know when those days come and I get all the pictures of my family without me and I’ll be pretty upset but I have to remember where I am and why I am here. I may be sad I am missing out at home but I know I would be more upset if I missed out on this opportunity. Despite a few struggles, I am more than ready to start my next chapter studying abroad. Bring on Sunday.

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Madison Hurley

<p>Hello!! My name is Madison, I&rsquo;m Massachusetts made and currently a junior at the University of Maine majoring in Marine Science and minoring in Spanish. I love the ocean and can sometimes be a science nerd so I am really looking forward to spending my time in the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin happened to discover evolution. I enjoy drawing, taking photos with my GoPRo, and snorkeling/diving. Follow me to stay updated on my underwater adventures!</p>

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