Lol 2 months later

Greetings everyone, I have made it out of rural Ecuador alive, barely alive, but nevertheless alive. These past 7 weeks have been wild and I am unsure of where to even begin and theres too much to say so I’m going to do a highlight reel. 

Highlights of these past few months:

  1. Got violently sick 3 hours after writing and posting my last blog post, died on the 3 hour bus ride to Bua.
  2. Got to Bua, lined up like we were getting picked for the kickball team at recess.
  3. My name got called, a couple across the room from us stood up and we were told that these were our host parents, Maria and her husband (I was never fully sure of his name from the start and now 5 weeks later I honestly still don’t know what his name is)
  4. We walked towards a truck where a pudgy boy sat making unknown arm motions and strange sounds. This was Justin, my 7 year old (now 8 as of a few weeks ago) host brother.
  5. Took a 30 minute truck ride away from everyone I had ever known and arrived at this random house in the middle of rural Ecuador.
  6. Shared a house with a constant 8 other people, with various visitors coming to stay during our time there. Maria and her husband were the parents and grandparents of everyone under our roof. Justin and his mom (their daughter) lived behind us. A young teen couple (the boy was their son) lived next to us with their 2 year old daughter Nabilla, and then there were some various relatives who lived on the second floor of our house.
  7.  Got a tour of the house and kept wondering where the hell is the bathroom? Wish I never found out the answer to that question bc our bathroom was a lean too made of trash bags that housed only a toilet bowl in our backyard. I spent a majority of my first night on the toilet questioning what the hell I had gotten myself into and why I had done this to myself.
  8. For those of you who think that roosters only cockle doodle doo at the break of dawn I am here either to inform you that Ecuadorian roosters are either extremely stupid or that this is a straight myth. From the hours of 3 AM to 8 AM the 20 plus roosters that live in our backyard, along with the possible 50 plus roosters that live in our neighborhood, continuously screamed at 1-5 minute intervals.
  9. We would drive to one of the community member’s farms and plant trees for them from 9-12. After these past few weeks of work I can wholeheartedly tell you that the last thing I ever want to be is a landscaper. I hate planting trees with a passion I didn’t even know was possible. I am by all means FOR saving the environment but I will NOT be the one planting the trees.

  10. I was banned from the eco toilet at the community center which is a hole in the ground that you have to aim your pee in. I am not good at aiming. Still receiving hate for my lack of aim and receiving requests that I see a urologist (nothing new here).
  11. Ana went to the bathroom and her cell phone fell into the squat toilet and I had to surgically fish it out using long sticks it was incredible. I am now a certified surgeon.
  12. One morning I went out to the bathroom for my morning pee and came out to a scene straight from the birds, chicken addition. I was attacked from every direction by chickens nose diving out of a tree at my face, meanwhile all members of my host family came out to watch and laugh at me.
  13. I ate more magnum ice cream bars than I ever thought possible. I also am terribly lactose intolerant.
  14. Ran a internationally renowned salon complete with head massage services down at the river every afternoon during our communal bath time. Steven
  15. Had the best 19th birthday party of my life lol. Whole neighborhood came out and threw me a surprise party. Got my face shoved in my, not one but TWO, cakes and ate the best shrimp fried rice of my life.
  16. Went to a quinceanera for one our host family’s relatives which we proceeded to ruin bc the local community was freaked out by our dancing and refused to dance after watching us lol.
  17. Came back from quinceanara to discover 11 cockroaches crawling around the walls of our room. Then proceeded to kill 9 cockroaches with my hiking shoes. The other 2 are still MIA.
  18. Woke up to a cockroach crawling on my face. Yup. That happened.
  19. Went into Santo Domingo, the closest city where our families sell their crops. Justin, my devil of a host brother got hyped up on sugar, ran the grocery cart into 3 people who then yelled at me for not controlling my child, he also ran the cart into his 4 year old cousin Brittany’s head, refused to apologize, then he ate all of his cousin’s ice creams and drank all of our coconuts without asking then threw his trash at an old woman on the street who then cursed and flipped me off.
  20. Almost died on our commute to work just about every day. Truck almost flipped 12 separate times and broke down due to our weight about 7 times. Mara almost got her arm cut off by a passing truck and people almost lost their teeth countless times.
  21. Kate is awesome (she requested to be in this blog post)
    1. Hannah (who is watching me type this now) is also awesome
  22. Ate a shitton of rice, plantains in just about any form you could ever imagine and some you couldn’t ever imagine, more rice, lots of fruit juice, more rice, lots of bananas, and let me think about it……MORE RICE.
  23. Planted a shitton of trees, painted some houses, built a community center, built a bridge, cut sick cacao off of cacao trees, planted more trees, put dirt in bags, and planted more trees.
  24. Went to the mall in Santo Domingo and saw new Peter Pan movie in Spanish (it was terrible in Spanish and I don’t think it gets much better in English) and had my first KFC of my life.
  25. Went to the beach for a weekend, surfed, ate the most amazing pineapple smoothies (liquid gold), had literally 16 of these smoothies, had the most amazing burger, bacon, 2 burger patties, grilled pineapple, and caramelized onions then chocolate cake and lemon tart, (can you tell I missed real food), and slept on a real mattress!!
  26. Came back to host family house, got super sick (possibly from the excessive smoothies) died on the toilet, threw up my favorite thing (Coco cookies by Nestle) in the world (now my least favorite thing).
  27. Attempted to go skinny dipping one afternoon with Kate and Mara, looked down the river to realize a man was staring at us from downstream, ran to the side of the river only to realize that one of the cooks was coming down to do her laundry so we had to thrust our bodies into the hillside.
  28. Finally got my host brother to say please, it only happened once but it happened.
  29. Watched tons of Ecuadorian soap operas where people in business suits walk up on savages making out in rivers.
  30. Watched Iron Man 2 in Spanish, just as good in Spanish. I love you Iron Man.
  31. The 2 year old, Nabila, who lived with us didn’t understand who we were for most of the time and would just stand in our doorway and death glare at us. 4 weeks in she started calling us her aunts and actually liked us and would let us play with her. Then one night we saw our sheet of a door swinging in the what I thought was the wind until Hannah exclaimed “Kristen” I turned to see a ghostly Nabila inside of Hannah’s bug net death glaring at her.
  32. Age of Adeline is a terrible movie.
  33. Read the first 3 Harry Potters
  34. Babysat a minimum of 5 kids every weekend for the whole weekend.
  35. Hannah showered in the rain one night.
  36. Went into the kitchen one night and looked at the usually white countertop to discover it was now completely black. Upon further investigation discovered there were over 500 black flying ant creatures covering the counter, the floor, and all over the freaking house. Our host family was totally unphased and the bugs stayed there all night. I am still scarred and get full body goosebumps every time I think about it. I have them now.
  37. Mara is awesome (also requested)
  38. Last day there we had our Despedida celebration. Girls and boys dressed up in traditional dress, one of the boys on our trip actually shaved his heads and now looks like a pineapple head. Participated in a traditional ceremony, had to go for a 2 mile hike in our traditional dress, everyone ate so much crap bc they couldn’t move in the skirts, I beat the local shaman in an arm wrestling match, and ate maggots amongst other unknown Ecuadorian substances.
  39. On our last night for Justin’s birthday, he got his face shoved in the cake, we all thought he was laughing about this but then we discovered he was throwing a tantrum, which only ended upon Justin eating his entire cake by himself.
  40. Then on the 28th we said goodbye to our host families and headed back to Quito. 😦 / 🙂 but mainly 🙂 (rural Ecuador was rough)
  41. Accidentally summited a 15,000 foot mountain in Quito.
  42. Saw my friend Brooke from home in Quito!!!!
  43. Ate lots and lots of gelato. Miss you white chocolate gelato. Oh and the mint.
  44. Flew to Cuzco on Halloween, died all of Halloween night. V sad. No Halloweekend for me. Jk died like mostly all college students do on this night just in a different way.
  45. Hiked a glacier, had dystentery on the summit of said glacier, everyone took a pic on the summit ( minus me bc I was dying), camped in a valley of glaciers with the coolest starry night view I have ever seen, woke up in the middle of night bc I was about to die, couldn’t find the bathroom and accidentally wandered into the glacial hills for an hour with only the light of my kindle guiding me in 15 degree weather
  46. Hiked to hot springs, where a bug infestation of blood flies, which are the most heinous creatures in the world, they bite and suck your blood, attacked all of us, I had to take a benadryl bc I was covered in full body hives, Kate also was a casualty in the war
  47. Woke up next day, hiked to town Agua Calientes below Machu Picchu, Kate discovered that her ankles had swelled to the point of elephantitis, could not walk or live anymore (she later went to a hospital where they told her her feet were hella infected and that she needed hella antibiotics)
  48. Hiked up to Machu Picchu it was v cool, although I was dying of dysentery like all of your kids in the Oregon Trail game, Kate was also dead with elephantitis but Machu Pichu was still v wonderful (hence why it is a wonder of the world)
  49. Then began the 52 hours of travel to Thailand, accidentally spent a day in China at a 5 star resort for free (with most beautiful and bountiful buffet breakfast included)
  50. Now I am here in rural Thailand about to go off the grid until Thanksgiving (which is in a week wtf).
  51. If you made it this far you are impressive or you really like me.
  52. Thanks for reading!!! See you in another 2 months when I’m in India.