This is Sarah Wallock. I am from Santa Barbara, California.
For the past couple days we have been hanging out by the beach in Puerto Lopez. Yesterday we spent the day at the Machalilla National Park and the day before we went to Isla De La Plata (the poorman’s Galapagos). Both were beautiful and we had some much needed and relaxing beach time. Although we miss our new family and the interesting surroundings at Rio Muchacho, it was nice to stay in a luxurious accommodation for a major change. Today we are headed up to the mountains and higher elevation; we are headed to the Black Sheep Inn and breaking the trip into two parts.
Max, Kiska, Dave, Alex and I went swimming in the ocean yesterday. We floated on our backs then did yoga and volleyball all before lunch. Josh led a different yoga session (more official, less cartwheels and acrobatics) with Dhara and Olivia. Tierra has never officially learned Spanish but she engaged in an in-depth conversation with our bus driver Manuel at the beach. Also Julia spent time with many members of the group and was looking after the team. She and I have been compared to Tina Fey and Amy Pohler.
So far it has been a fascinating trip. We have seen amazing things and each day is packed with full excitement. Last night we had a vibrant discussion on our Sustainability Action Plans (how to implement concepts explored here at home), why we came here, the differences between Rio Muchacho (RM) and Hostel Mandala and our emotional reactions to each of the ideas above. Dan brought up an interesting point about how at RM we were physically closer to the earth, living on flat grounds and dirt paths, but in Puerto, our porches and rooms and buildings are elevated and almost untouchable by the natural world. Andrew made a point that it is incredible how mature the farm workers at RM are despite their young ages. Dhara talked about how RM is isolated compared to Puerto, which affects the complexity of our conversations. Danielle brought up the idea that lower income families might not be able to afford sustainable practices.
Hopefully this fulfilled your interest in our foreign adventure, Much love, Sarah