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Journals from Year abroad in Quito, Ecuador

2009-04-16 Spring Break

Spring Break All of my plans that I had for the two weeks free of classes got cancelled the day before I had planned to leave. I was devastated and unsure what to do as all of my girlfriends had already made plans and I didnt think I would be able to join any of them on their trips. Thinking hard about what I should do, and not wanting to sit around for all of break, I decided to call a friend from school who I had hoped to get to know better. As it turns out she had plans to go to the beach with a group of friends from her church and, after asking the group if there was room in the car that they were taking, invited me along. I packed my bag and the next evening we left for what would be an amazing five days together. A group of six, two Ecuadorian guys and four foreign girls, we packed in the Land Rover and drove the nearly ten hours to the coastal town of Canoa. When we arrived the guys went to bargain for the price of the car, instructing us to stay in the car and basically hide so we could avoid getting charged a gringo price. We ended up staying in a hotel in two adjacent rooms on the third floor with a terrace that overlooked the ocean. In the evenings we would watch the setting sun from the terrace and talk about our days experiences. Canoa is a beach with huge waves, so we were able to enjoy several water sports. We rented body boards and played in the ocean, jumping over the waves and getting lots of water in our eyes, which, incidentally, serves as a cleaning and de-reddening agent much like Visine. We visited the nearby town of Bahia (Bay) de Caraquez and rented a wave-runner (similar to a snow-mobile but on the water), which we drove in pairs alternating drivers. When it was my turn to drive, heading back, our wave-runner ran out of gasoline and we ended up drifting out into the bay past the Danger, do not pass buoy. As we were so far out my friend and I knew that we wouldnt be able to push the wave-runner to shore and that our only option was to sit and wait. After about twenty minutes of shouting and arm waving, one of the workers noticed us and came to save us, pulling us to shore with a rope. The trip was fun, relaxing and very spiritual. Since we shared so many experiences and moments together the six of us got to know each other much better. I am so happy that I made the spontaneous decision to go with them. A situation that could have been potentially boring was turned into an awesome experience just because I was able to give up my inhibitions about making friends and make a random decision. When I was finally able to open myself up and take a risk I was able to get to know a wonderful group of people with whom I feel really comfortable and can grow with.

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