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Posts from Ecuador by Jazmine Shoup


The following is a series of posts from Ecuador by Jazmine Shoup, the recipient of Partners 2012 Ecuadorian Education Abroad Scholarship. Jazzy is traveling with the UK Honors Program lead by Kentucky Ecuador Partners Education chair, Dr. Larry Grabau.

A FEW DAYS AWAY!
May, 12, 2012

 In only a few short days I will be boarding a plane in Louisville and be on my merry way to Quito, Ecuador! Excitement fills my body as I begin to think of all of the adventures to be had while I’m there! This is the first post of many while I will be there! I’m going to try my best to post all of my experiences as often as possible! (when I have access to Internet, of course) stay tuned!!

WEEK ONE!!
May, 19, 2012

Where in the world to start!! First, this experience has been truly amazing and exceptionally rewarding! We’ve been here for four days now, and It’s almost hard to remember everything cause we’ve done so much! We’ve gone to saint Francis cathedral, El palacio en Ecuador (kindof like the white house of Ecuador!) it’s so cool! We were able to see where president Correa worked and held meetings! We climbed to the top of the Basilica that had an exceptional view of Quito!!! So beautiful! We visited a local University in Kumbaya and Toured there campus. We strolled in the Parque Carolina and had a tour of a local hospital where we were able to learna about the local AIDS and HIV clinic. Very rewarding and humbling experience! We climbed to the top of a VERY tell mountain and saw the Alto Rancho water project! When we climbed the mountain, we were litterally in a cloud! It was surreal! And that was all in just two days!

These last two days have also been filled with incredible experiences! We were able to travel to the equator and learn about it! Very interesting! Then we went shopping to Otovalo and were able to buy so many cool textiles! Purses, bags, scarves, cups, paintings, sweaters, jewelry! You name it, they had it. And it was all hand crafted and beautiful! After Otovalo we had our one night home stay with a local family! We stayed with a family that had a mom and two daughters, all of whom were so kind and generous! The home stay was so much fun! We were able to help with preparing the tratiditional meal, and chat with the family in Spanish! Then we played UNO and just had a great time laughing and being with one another! Today was also a great day! We went for a morning hike in the Andes mountains! It was too beautiful for words! A picture couldn’t even do it justice! It’s something I would recommend everyone doing!! After that we went to Otovalo and visited with a man who hand crafted wool and wool textiles, and then to a house where they made hand crafted Ecuadorean instruments! I wish I could write more, but internet time is limited, so I will keep writing with updates as soon as I can!!

So many more adventures to have!!!!!!

ONLY IN ECUADOR!
May, 25, 2012

So we have a bit of free time right now so I thought I would get a nice blog in to update everyone on the recent travels of our trip! So I´ll start where I left off- Banos! After our time in Otovalo and Cotacachi we made our way over to a very cool town called Banos. Translated it means hot springs becuase there are great hot springs in the town! We stayed at this amazing little hotel with hammocks, and beautiful scenery, and cute traditionally decorated rooms. While we were there we just walked around the town looking at the cute shops all over and going to a delicious chocolate store! And when I say delicious, I mean delicious! After just walking around, we went on a very steep hike up the mountain to a beautiful view of Banos! I made it about half way, but a few made it to the top and loved it :) After Banos we drove about 20 minutes where we rode cable cars across a river through the Andes mountains, the wind blowing in our hair simply soaking in the experience. Then we drove a little further and took an hour or so hike to an amazing waterfall! A few of us walked to the bottom and a few of us walked to top- from what I heard from everyone´s responses, equally beautiful! After our hike and waterfall adventures we made our way to town called Puyo where we visited with a local hospital. The hospital employees 15 missionaries and 67 Ecuadorians! It was a wonderful place to go, especially since people were ministering to the people of the local community in such a beneficial way! It´s exactly what I hope to do with my life one day!

So now I am on to another day! And boy oh boy was this day exciting! We played with monkeys, hiked through the Amazon jungle, experimented with Amazonial medicinal treatments, swam in an incredible waterfall in the jungle, and visitd with a local village where we were able to have traditional markings of their people painted on our faces! So to say the least, the day was some what surreal and incredibly amazing! I have simply fallen in love with the culture, people, and beauty of Ecuador! Until another day!