In my third week in Ecuador, I am doing a mix of things. Monday of course was a day of mourning (which reminds me of my favorite Sunday River ski trail, “Monday Mourning.”) Unfortunately, however, the world did not stop when our friends were missing. VEP had a new volunteer arriving, and our director Juan was busy looking for our old ones.
So, to relieve Juan of the classic dilemma (you can’t be two places at once), Joe and I traveled to the airport in Quito in order to pick up Christine. Getting out of the hostel proved to be good for the both of us. The somber air was enough to suffocate a woolly mammoth. So when we heard at 5pm that night (shortly after arriving in Quito) that our friends were found safe, we had no choice but to celebrate our asses off.
Hopping from bar to restaurant, from restaurant to bar, Joe and I ran into friends, made new ones, and then ran into our new friends again later. Christine turned out to be a cool girl. And so, Quito was definitely a good medicine for the Lost Friend Blues. (Also finding said lost friends was curative).
Wednesday, Gilberto and I decided to continue with our research, and go on with the next steps for building our school. We traveled to Ibarra, wherein lies the Ministry of Education, and spoke with the Director of Education there. The conversation was heartening, as we found out that all we needed to do was submit a proposal, and the ministry could provide us with up to 5 state-paid teachers, and possibly other resources. We collected some documents detailing the requirements that need to be met, and Gilberto and I discussed our budget on the busride back.
All in all, things are rolling along this week, despite the epic mishap that cast a shadow over our weekend.