Friday, December 11, 2009
In Santa María about a month ago, the students had exams, so, naturally, we exchange students didn't come. Free week (they don't require the exchange students to take the exams)! I mostly worked on college applications. Woo hoo.
One day, Marilou (my parents' friend from Miami who's orignally from Ecuador and stays with us sometimes) asked me if I wanted to go to Zaruma with her and her cousin. I had nothing better to do (and, of course, those college applications could wait) so I headed out with Marilou, her cousin, her cousin's husband, and the driver (I'm not really sure if he's their employee because he's studying at the Unversity. I don't think he was their son).
This was my first time in the mountains of Ecuador (we weren't very deep in them, but we were in them), and it was amazing! We traversed the mountain on the winding road, passing little streams and large, beautiful vistas. In the city, we walked around the town - it was so cool because it is a quaint little city, situated on the side of this steep mountain. We joked that the people must have had huge leg muscles from walking around here.
This city is known for its "tigrillo," a delicious dish made from bananas, egg, and cheese, and its coffee (they say it's the best in the world). I tried it. I'm not a big coffee fan (actually, I'm not one at all) but this wasn't too bad. We walked around the main square, and I, the tourist that I am, took some pictures.
On our way home, we stopped at this one place where there is a small stream/waterfall, and there are two metal pipes that lead the water away from the mountain a little, so you can stand under it or get wet. We splashed our faces and drank some. It was cool, but there was trash everywhere (a ton of shampoo bottles).
Back in Machala I went to my sister's house and ate with her family some typical dishes: pan de yuca (kinda like bread with cheese but not really), humitas (sweet mold of corn), and bolón (mashed bananas with cheese and fried pork). We ate in the dark with some candles because there was no power.