Ecuador: Four days in the Amazon Rainforest

The rainforest was one of my favorite parts of this 2.5 week trip in December 2013/January 2014. If you missed my last post, it was part of a study abroad social work class through my school. IMG_0443

My only complaint is that we had way too much scheduled given the amount of time and I was so tired that I wanted to collapse. That’s not my kind of travel… I feel like it detracts from the experience if you pack too much in! Travel isn’t all glamorous, guys, I practically cried on the third night because we had a lecture that went past midnight and we needed to meet outside the next day at 7am. There also wasn’t coffee readily available so at least half of the group (myself included… oops) was having caffeine withdrawals to boot.

I learned something important about myself on this trip: No matter how cool a destination is and how excited I am to see it, I need to budget easier days for myself so I’m well rested. That way, I can have fun without being so exhausted!

BUT ANYWAY. The rainforest was FANTASTIC. So many cool plants and animals and living with the Kichwa people and learning their proud culture and history. They embrace technology (some of them added me on Facebook after the trip) and wear “normal” clothing, but they’re very proud of their history and want to keep it alive, similar to many Native Americans in the US. I was amazed how expertly they knew all the flora and fauna of the Amazon.

Some pics:

Trying a blowgun that the Kichwa have on hand for travelers like us. I failed dismally.
Trying a blowgun that the Kichwa have on hand for travelers like us. I failed dismally.

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The lazy is setting in and I don’t feel like adding to this post, but the Amazon was sweet and I would definitely go back The end.

Actually, I will add to this. I saw THE SCARIEST SPIDER OF MY LIFE in the bathroom when I was getting ready to brush my teeth. I don’t have a picture (I was fighting for my life! 😉 ) but I was FREAKING OUT like the wimp I am. I have a problem with anything that has more than 4 legs, guys, and spiders exceed their acceptable non-creepy leg quota by 100%. Word spread to all 20 people in our group that Michelle found a spider and all the girls were freaking out. They thought we were overreacting, but then THEY SAW IT. It was in attack mode, too, since so many people were intimidating it. It was bigger than my hand! We eventually got the Ecuadorian naturalist, Xavier, to get it out for us. It was a less-poisonous relative of the Brazilian Wandering Spider, but still poisonous. NOPE. My roommates and I bonded so much over this, though, and now I have the story to tell about the time I found a huge poisonous spider in the bathroom!

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