Hello families and happy Fourth of July!
Today was a very good day! We began by speed running our morning routine so that we can earn back time and wake up later tomorrow. Jonah and John were the leaders of the day today and they’d served as our wake up czars. We then enjoyed a tasty breakfast consisting of delicious fruit, pancakes, hash browns, scrambled eggs, ham, and cheese. Some of us also enjoyed our Ecuadorian hot chocolates which we had with breakfast. Jacob absolutely gobbled up his meal.
After breakfast we grabbed our water bottles and got in the bus for a beautiful 45 minute ride to our white water rafting put in. After getting an extreme safety talk from our man Poncho, we got in our rafts to enjoy the consistently fun rapids that the Jatunyacu river offers.
During the ride we had the opportunity to get out of our boats and swim through some of the smaller rapids. A little ways into the trip, we stopped for a bit so that we could hike up and swim through some rapids in one of the river’s tributaries. This was really fun and Carson particularly loved this activity. Later in the trip, Ruby became the first person to “ride the bull.” This means that she climbed onto the very front of her raft and hung on with a rope in a way that was similar to riding a horse or bull.
Our group was split up into a yellow and blue raft and we had a lot of fun competing with each other and having splash wars. As both of the authors of this blog were in the blue boat we can decidedly say that the yellow boat got completely decimated 🙂
About halfway down the river, we stopped for lunch at a really cool place. Before lunch we played a game where we had to balance and catch our rafting paddles and Lila crushed her competition and won. We then got an opportunity to shop in a small indigenous market that sold hand crafted jewelry and souvenirs as well as what is apparently the best chocolate in the world, coming from right here in Ecuador. Alexandra loved the market and bought a huge variety of chocolates and trinkets.
After shopping we enjoyed a delicious lunch consisting of burritos with fresh fruit for desert. After cleaning up, we got back into the river and continued to have some serious fun.
Nate decided to go swimming in a calm pool but our guide had to throw him the safety rope so that he could get back to the raft in time for the next rapid. Maya and Jonah both fell off their raft when it hit a big rapid and went on an angle. A bunch of other people took a swim when our W raft guide played a trick on us by getting us to stand up for a “game” and then shoving us all into the water.
After rafting, we helped put our rafts onto the truck and hung out with some locals on the beach who enjoyed getting a fire flick (photo) with Spencer and generally found us all to be very amusing.
Sam then surprised us with some hand made ice cream bars at a local shop. Charlie detailed to us how he saved Olivia three different times from various rapids (quite the hero).
Back at the hotel, Ruby and Olivia enjoyed a grueling core workout and got some awesome gains while Spencer brutally beat Carson in the card game spit and a few others played a dramatically wild game of BS. We then headed out on a night time walk where we watched the sunset and experimented with light painting using flashlights and a long-exposure camera.
We returned to enjoy an American themed dinner of hot dogs, soda, and pineapple upside down cake. Everyone is now waiting for me (Jonah) to finish typing this blog that you are reading so that we can sit down for another nice evening meeting to end the day.
Bye for now,
Jonah and Spencer