jueves, 2 de octubre de 2014

Home stay

Sometimes, people think that staying with a host family equals being in a hostal. But truly, in Vida Verde and their families, you are part of the famliy and so you will be integrated as a member. What we see here is just a casual dinner, prepared by the whole family (and therefore the students too). The homestay gives you the opportunity for additional practice in speaking Spanish outside of the classroom, as well as the opportunity to experience some of the cultural aspects of Ecuadorian life, such as food :)

Buen Provecho!

Zip-lining with Notre Dame

If they are not down for zip-lining, then I don`t know....

 Last week we went out for the adventure park in Nayon, which is a 30 min ride from Quito. We started from school, right after classes!

In Nayon, in the adventure park, theres is many things you can do for fun: Paintball, rent quads or motorbikes and go crazy or just opt for classic zip-linging.

The canyon you have to cross is quite impressive and the provided view is stunning. Therefore, even though they are still improving the place, defenitely recommendable!

If you are not the type for doing zip-linging or you are the one that is watching the stuff of the group, there is enough possibilities to sweeten you stay as well :)

The Equator in Ecuador

The Equator is an imaginay line on the globe that is equidistant from the North and South Poles, dividing the Earth into Northern and Southern Hemisphere.

So where does the Equator line cross Ecuador? At latitude 0· of course! (and roughly another 230 km - so almost entire Ecuador is supposed to be considered as being crossed by the Equator). But wehre does this occur in the real, physical world? The exact specification of the Equator is, in fact, somewhat variable and dependent on the chosen mathematical datum. With today`s modern technology, which includes GPS, it has been proven that some of the old sesults were, unfortunate for the discoverers, wrong! Apparently, there have been a number of "Equator line" monuments built in the past, as this one, for example:

The french stated, decades ago, without using GPS, that exactly there would be the Equator line. Which is wrong!

In the Museum, where the Equator is truely passing through, we were part of a guided tour. The tour leads you, firstly, through the three parts of Ecuador: Coast, mountains, and jungle. So we were told for example which kind of plants and animals still live in the local jungles (always nice, if you go the following day or week over there)

They also teach about the practice, how indiginous tribes used to conserve the heads of the ones that passed away. The same procedure they apply for having trophies of the ones they killed in war: The Shrinkhead

Of course there are way more things to see and to do, like balancing on the Equator line, balancing an egg on the top of a nail by using the forces that are outbalancing themselves...

miércoles, 1 de octubre de 2014

Welcome to the jungle!

Stunning view, stunning lodge!

Last week we made a weekend trip to the jungle, close to Misahualli. The Lodge is calles "Gaia"

I could not imagine a better contrast to the busy city. This is pure relaxing even though you go for walks and join some activities, this is one of our favorite spots - and only 4 hours away from Quito.

You can hang out in hammocks, stroll around in any of the almost uncountable paths through the jungle and discover it for yourself or just hit up with a group that is leaving for an excursion, guided of course that you get a better touch on the flora and fauna.

The standard of the lodge and evereything that it related to the one in question is very high, beginning by the design, and food. Same counts for quality of the guides and rooms etc!

That´s how you move in the jungle!

Those lianas start growing in the ground and wiggle around the tree upwards until they reach the top and manage the way down again.
You easily can use them to climb up the highest trees you find in the jungle since they resist even though they might seem weak!

This fruit is called "Achote" and has been used by indiginous tribes to paint their faces. By this way, they were able to differenciate themselves tribewise by thoses paintings. Today it is rather used for make oil and therefore is been used as natural food coloring.

Most people love it but do not know how  the fruit looks before the picking or even how it looks from the inside.


Totally different in taste and look from what we are used to, but still delicious. You can open the fruit and just suck the juice out of this white peaces - so sweat - you have to try it!

Here, we usually have a break form tubing and use the ropes and trees to jump into the water!
The sunset in the jungle in undescribable and simply cannot be frozen in a picture....