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Stay Clear of Beach Food!

March 15

Life in Ecuador has finally seemed to steady out.  I'm finally at that point where I can give constructive directions to the taxi drivers (instead of suddenly saying "aqui! aqui!"  or "here! here!"  That never proved to be too useful) and can make my way around the city with confidence.  It's nice to finally feel like there is a piece of me that considers Quito a new and comfortable home.

The Galapagos Islands were phenomenal, it was like living in a postcard!  Every island was very pure and untouched by man (although I suppose that doesn’t really include the tourist groups that parade through, but everyone was overly cautious and considerate).  We were able to snorkel alongside sea lions and sea turtles, hiked some beautiful trails, and allowed ourselves to just appreciate the beauty of nature for what it is.  If any of you are considering traveling to the Galapagos, I would highly recommend it.

After our big trips to the Amazon and Galapagos, we decided to take a little break from the busy travels.  Two of my best friends from BC came down for their spring break, which conveniently fell on my birthday!  We took a nice relaxing getaway to the beach which took an unfortunate turn when we all got stomach viruses!  Oh well, I suppose that's what we get for venturing into eating "beach food" which is about as sanitary as street food, which is the highest cautioned food in Ecuador.  It tasted fabulous, but the drawbacks were soon to come!  But it was well worth it to have my girls here.

My Ecuadorian family threw me a huge party for my birthday, which was absolutely wonderful!  Birthdays are a big deal here in Ecuador.  The party seems to go on and on and on.  They had all my gringo friends over and some of their family members over.  They played Beatles songs and we played games that I haven't played since I'd say, oh, age 6 or so (we're talking sack races, carrying lemons on a spoon in your mouth, and all those good ones.  Supposedly it will be posted on  youtube.com so keep a look out!).  It was a riot!  And my mom and sister are conveniently professional cake makers, so after our 3 course meal we had some wonderful singing and cake-eating.  My kind of birthday!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes I got!  Please feel free to drop me a line if you get a chance!  It's always wonderful to feel reconnected with home.