I am here at Kevin's university in Guayaquil. I spent the morning in his beginning English class where we learned that pilots, not chefs, fly airplanes.
I had a good time in Quito hanging around, going to the equator, which is conveniently painted yellow, and meeting other travelers - so many people from California! It was quite a difference going from the crusty, budget travelling backpackers to the cruise in the Galapagos. Although the boat held 16, there were only 9 of us so I got my own cabin - yeah. There was a French speaking Swiss family, a family from Manhattan Beach, and a bizarre woman from the Bronx - "is that a sea lion or a dolphin?"
The islands were pretty amazing... it seemed like a lot of wildlife to me, although our guide kept saying that there should be so much more but there wasn't because of the nino. There were quite a few dead sea lions which was both sad and smelly. I did see plenty of blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, waved albatross and iguanas. WE went snorkeling often and I saw king angelfish, sea lions that swam with you and even a white tipped shark! The crew was friendly, although a little forward, I had an offer to spend the night with the captain... someone needs to get over himself, please.
So far, Guayaquil is hot. You start sweating as soon as you get up and start moving around. I have been told that it is cooling off and winter is almost upon us. Some of Kevin's students were wearing sweaters in class.
On Saturday night on the ship we had a cake which said "happy birthday christi" and everyone sang and the entire group put together a little card which they all signed. On Sunday we were going to take the ferry across the river to Guyas through the cholera-infected town of Duran and go to some restaurant but we missed it and had to eat dinner in town.
All in all, I'm having a good time - have only experienced the typical digestive issues and haven't run into any trouble. I will try to send another update from Peru before I hook up with the Habitat group.
P.S. Guatemala gang - have fun at the reunion, please play a game of hearts for me.