(This blog was originally posted on Oct 11, 2010, but due to technical difficulties was reposted on Oct 26)

This past week had us getting into the Quiten᷉o rhythm; Spanish classes in the morning, a huge lunch back at home with the host families, and lectures at the university about various subjects to finish up the day. Of course, with the exception of Thursday’s, on which we have our “Ritmos Tropicales” salsa class after our normal courses. It’s a little daunting to be in a salsa class along with locals who actually CAN dance, but hey, we’ll learn. Hopefully.

On Friday, we had our first joint class with the university students. One can’t really call this a class, at least not in your traditional sense, with notebooks and desks and blackboards, all that jazz. This was much more interactive and fun. Think more… kitchen. This class consisted mainly of eating gourmet food. It was hard, let me tell you. Bite after bite of fresh tropical fruit and delicious local cuisine can wear down on you at times.

On Saturday, a few of us headed over to the “middle of the world.” After first seeing the “fake” equator (slight miscalculation on some French explorer’s part), we made our way to the real equator and were given a quick tour of the area, which included seeing a giant boa constrictor and a shrunken head. For lunch, we went to a delicious local restaurant where we had Yahuarlocro, a soup with avocado, tomato and tripe. We were treated to free quimbolitos, a sort of pound cake cooked in a leaf. Then we went for guanabana (a local fruit) ice cream, which was muy muy ricco. This week was amazing! I’m slightly overwhelmed by all this new culture, but I love it. Ready for next week!