(Everyone should listen to manu chao, not just because its in my head.) Hey everybody! So much has been happening, and I've been trying to catch up on emails and phone calls rather than blogging. On Thursday we moved into our new apartment! It was by far the least stressful moving experience i've ever had... we hired movers, who ended up showing up an hour early and we had everything loaded into the truck before they were even scheduled to arrive! Then while the other girls helped drag everything up to our new 4th floor apt, I cleaned the entire old one. This was not exactly fun, but definitely less stressful... i just put on shakira and ot myself covered in bleach. The new place is nice, the same floor plan as our old one because its part of the same giant complex, but a bit less rundown, and with a balcny with a beautiful view of pichincha! Downsides are the hot water is finnicky and we have EIGHT keys because the entry is more secluded and without a guard. You have to use a key or buzz the door just to get out now. And the biggest downside for me is that i lost my master bedroom and I've been camping out in the living room, which hopefully has not been too disruptive to my roommates... really i'm just another part of the pile of furniture and boxes.
In other news, Rebecca and I scaled Imbabura yesterday! She has a friend who is a tour guide and he is currently doing a whole series of andiñismo - climbing the volcanos in ecuador from north to south. There were about 18 people, all ecuadorian except for us, and mostly women! At 4, 630 m it's not much higher than pichincha, but there's no teleferico to get you to to the top, so its quite a climb. I have some beautiful pictures which i will get up eventually. The best part was scaling the rocks at the end, but coming down really SUCKED... it was 4 hours up, going up the whole time, and it still took 4 hours down! My knees basically gave out halfway down and so I was hobbling and falling over the rest of the way, since I couldn't really support myself. And I was definitely the dirtiest i've been in a really long time, or possibly ever. The dust we kicked up got EVERYWHERE, including in our mouths. I showered as soon as possible last night, and I couldn't even scrub all the dirt off. I really wanted to throw away my really old gym shoes that are falling apart, givin me blisters, and now COVERED in dirt, especially since I need real hiking shoes for peru. But i just went to quicentro where there are 2 big outdoor stores, and machismo strikes again! Both of them carry a wide selection of hiking boots, but NONE in women's sizes!!!!!!!!!!! I was super pissed. So now I have to dig out the old shoes for my trip this week. FOrtunately there is no climbing scheduled, just some hiking in the cloud forest. I'm going to a finca near puerto quito where I get to tour tropical fruit groves, BLACK PEPPER plantaions (!!!), and make my own chocolate among other things. I'll let you know how that goes. I'll be back in Quito in Thursday or Friday, in time for Adela's despedida and my bday!
Oh, if you want to get in touch with me, I lost my cell phone a while back and have been switching around between friend's phones. I finally have a more or less permanent number: 095610041