On Wednesay we had a Thanksgiving lunch at school. All the parents brought in various dishes and we had a full-fledged Thanksgiving feast! On Thursday school was over at 12:00 for Thanksgiving! I was picked up by my student's family and we drove to the U.S. Embassy Marine House! I helped them cook a few last dishes and then we ate a hugggggge, delicious, American Thanksgiving dinner there in the Marine house! There were 2 military families with kids and grandparents, and 4 single marines that joined us. It was a good time! Not quite the same as being with family, but still fun! I got to know a girl in the marines who I ended up hanging out with on Saturday night! She doesn't have many female friends in the marines, as you can imagine!
On Friday I went to Alliance and Julie, Melissa and I went to Quicentro Mall in downtown Quit0! We ate lunch at Crepes and Waffles in the mall which was delicccccccious. Very classy restaurant. Then we walked around the mall a bit and gawked at the high prices for clothes and shoes. After that we trekked up the street to a quaint, high-quality ice cream store that Julie really wanted to check out. And on the walk back we stopped to get KFC and Taco Bell to eat later, hah! To get home I had to wait like 30 minutes for a taxi because traffic was terrible! And the Quito Days festivities have begun which mean the city is full of people, even more people than normal.
Early Saturday morning I went with Donna nad her two friends, Myscha and Dave to Otovalo, yet again! But my goal this time was to take lots of pictures! I was successful and you can see some of the results on facebook. On the way to Otovalo we stopped at the REAL, Scientific Equator! We checked it with the GPS and they actually had a working sun dial too. Then we went to the Otovalo animal market where the farmers come to sell and buy both living and dead animals. There were lots of chickens, cows and pigs mostly. It was kind of sad to see the animals smacked around and caged up. But then I saw pigs eatting corn and grass freely and I remembered that these farm animals are treated way more humanely than most of the meat produced in the U.S. These animals are fed fresh grass, corn and wheat and for the most part have open grass and fields to graze in. So at the end of the morning I decided that I don't need to be a vegetarian in Ecuador. I considered it for a moment when we first walked into the animal market and the stench of meat overwhelmed my nostrils.
Anyways, from the animal market we drove to Otovalo Mercado. There we perused around for a little while and I did some more shopping for Navidad while simultaneously chatting and photographing some of the kind, indigenous vendors. I really saw the improvement of my Spanish in the fact that I could carry on social conversations for more than 5 minutes and understand everything. I was even translating for Donna's friends sometimes! That felt good! After this market we went to the Hacienda for lunch which was delic and then drove to a Volcanic lake to take some pictures. Then we headed back.
On Saturday night I went to see new moon with a the only female marine in Ecuador that I met on Thursday! She convinced one of the other male marines to come along too. Though he was embarrassed to admit that he was going to see such a chick flick. They have a driver at the embassy just for the marines so we were driven all around by a personal driver! We went to Tony Roma's for dinner before the movie and then hung out for awhile afterwards. It was lots of fun!
Today I went to EFC with Julie and then we went to this realllly good pizza place after church for lunch! Now I'm just blogging, uploaded pictures and am hanging out and going to bed early! This week we only have 4 days of school. And on Thursday afternoon I leave for el ORIENTE! Woohoo! Well that's all for now! I'm getting excited to be home for Christmas. Songs about cold, wintery weather are hard to listen to here while it's 70 and sunny :)
Love you all