Ana Novak


Ana Novak

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center July 13th 2011

Woke up to a considerably foggier day in Ibarra, and had Fernanda and Celeste take me for a walk around the plazas. The blooming trees and ancient-looking buildings give Ibarra a certain charm that is hard to describe. Although it is interesting to note that the whole family mentioned the influence of Columbians there (seeing as the border is not that far away). Unfortunately, they have always been a problem in the city and are the reason for a lot of the crime there. After our walk, I boarded the next bus to Quito and got the great privilege of sitting next to Daniel, a thirteen-year-old boy, who is one of the nicest kids I have ever met. His grandmother and aunt were overjoyed when they found that of all the five people on the bus, ... read more
One of the 3 Main Basilicas in Ibarra
More Ibarra and Flowers
My Family in Quito

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra July 13th 2011

Last day at the clinic. Though I honestly didn’t see myself as too much of a help there, I was gladly surprised by how sorry everyone was when they found out I was leaving. It was nice departing the hospital with Dr. Cárdenas, a wonderful pediatrician with whom I spent the most time with, telling me that should I ever return to Quito I always have a friend who would be happy to see me. He also wished me the best of luck in all my future studies. Tuesday was also moving day! The family moved from the first floor of the apartment house, to the second floor, and most of the day was spent working on hauling all the items and rearranging rooms, etc. The move was great for the family, who received an extra ... read more
Vines from My Window
Maria Celeste and I
Laguna Yahuarcocha

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center July 13th 2011

My second Sunday at the Carolinas Park. Unfortunately, we got to the aerobics dance class about 15 minutes late, which is enough time to miss to make what could be a successfull workout into just a sad fail. It didn't make too much of a difference in the end because soon after we arrived, it started to rain. Everyone scrambled for safety and once the whole group had cleared, the rain clouds conveniently disappeared never to return again. But we made the best of the afternoon by walking through the entire park, which was so much more enormous than I had originally thought. We walked passed a children’s horse riding area, botanical garden, paddleboats, and antique car house, and even a small farris wheel. A few days earlier, Julia, Paige, and I took some random buses ... read more
Quito and I
Government House
A Really Nice Hotel

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center July 13th 2011

If I have one tip when gong to Ecuador, it would be to basically bring ALL your cash in $1 bills. I had spent all my 1’s, 5’s, and 20’s, and what can only be a tourist's greatest fear, was left with only a $100 bill. So much, yet so worthless in that form! After unsuccessfully getting change at a bank, and with no coins, I was unable to get myself to work, so I drove around with Nancy to two other banks who also rejected her asking to split a hundred. After Nancy kindly allowed me to exchange the bill after she got the same amount out of the ATM, we drove around Quito for a while. Though the day was pretty gray and cold, Paige and I decided to visit some unseen sights of ... read more
Blomberg Exhibit
Boutique Hat Store Homero Ortega
Flowers and Champagne

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 13th 2011

So, I know this is coming about 3 weeks late. After a crazy final few weeks in Ecuador, and a close-to-disastrous trip home I am finally wrapping up my blog with my final posts. Bear with me (and thanks for your patience). So, Saturday morning I woke up in shock to find the time to be nearly 10:30 am. Why was I not woken up 2 hours ago? Where was the call to breakfast? Have I been abandoned? Nope. I was simply in Puerto Lopez. This was vacation time. Here, I stayed with Elsa, the host mother living in this small and simple fishing and tourist vacation spot. She is a super nice woman, totally laid back and very welcoming. After a lovely breakfast of rolls, eggs and juice, Royal and I slowly and leisurely got ... read more
Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez, Main Street
Waves and Fishing Boats

South America » Ecuador » West » Portoviejo June 23rd 2011

7:00 am. ¨Portoviejo!¨ Woke up to blinding lights as our bus from Quito pulled into the bus stop after a seven-hour ride. Here, Stephen, Julia, Royal, Sandra, Paige, and I began our three day trip to the coast. As we all groggily emerged from the bus, we greeted Olga, our guide for the day, and the driver of our own van, who would take us around town. We piled into the vehicle and headed for breakfast. After uselessly asking us what we wanted to eat, Olga ordered something for us all and we began to wait for our food, blankly staring around; still asleep. After what seemed like an hour, we all received breakfast: a plate-sized egg pancake and fried plantains with orange juice and instant coffee. Stuffed, we walked out into the drizzle and humidity ... read more
Me and Louie
Home in Santa Ana
Another View

South America » Ecuador » North » Ibarra June 20th 2011

A few of the other volunteers brought extra medical supplies and toys for children to donate, so today marked a work/sightseeing trip. Mariana, Lucho, four other volunteers and I set off first to Otavalo to visit Paige who was working at a day care there. We arrived a few hours later at a small village, bumping and bouncing as we drove slowly up the rocky road to the school. About 40 kids between the ages of one and five greeted us with smiling faces and muddy hands. They flocked around us as we were shown the various school rooms and art projects that littered the tables. As we went back outside to a slight drizzle they couldn´t be happier to have pictures taken of them, waving enthusiastically to the camera and jumping in the mud and ... read more
A Beautiful Girl
Me, Patricio, Brittany, Julia, and Becky

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center June 12th 2011

Work, food, Quito! That basically has been my week. I´ve started working at the Clinica Santa Barbara. So far I´ve seen a few operations, watched work done in the biochemistry lab, worked with the nurses (taking blood pressure, weighing/measuring patients, etc.), worked in the nursery, and shadowed a pediatrician. All very cool stuff. Everyone who works there is incredibly friendly and working there is a great opportunity for me to speak Spanish and for many of the doctors to practice their English. We´ll see what this coming week brings! Monday night, Royal and I went to La Foch and sat next to Amelia Vega, Miss Dominican Republic and Miss Universe 2003. Yea, no big deal. Tuesday, Royal, Julia and I started private salsa lessons at Mariana´s house with David, a friend of Miguel´s. We´ll be taking ... read more
View of the Basilica from the Clinic
View from the Terrace of the Clinic
My house (We Live on the First Floor)

South America » Ecuador » North » Mitad del Mundo June 9th 2011

Today marked the trip to the Mitad de Mundo. We left with Stephen, John, Sandra, Amanda, Lucho, Miguel, and his 11 year old daughter, Joanna. We drove to Pululahua, a dormant volcano. The caldera in the middle is the location of a small, poor, primarily agricultural village. Its elderly inhabitants must walk up the arduous path early every morning to the market above to sell their goods. No car, sometimes a burro by their side. The landscape was gorgeous. So much green, and the clouds dreamily floating amidst the mountains. We then arrived at the first Mitad del Mundo. Here marks the exact latitude, 0˚0˚0˚. We took a tour of the indigenous houses and the traditions of the people there and then began to make our way to the center of the earth. We performed various ... read more
Miguel and I
Joanna and I
Pululahua 2

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo June 8th 2011

Woke up, got dressed, had breakfast (salted boiled egg, freshly squeezed orange juice, and instant coffee), and was at Mariana’s at 8:30 sharp, like she told me. Yea right. Today marked the trip to Otavalo. I waited for Mariana until 9 at the earliest with Sandra, another volunteer from Houston. Another thing Royal told me when I first arrived in Quito, ¨no one is one time here.¨ We left with Miguel and Lucho, our driver, and picked up Amanda and Stephen, other volunteers, and Stephen´s father, John. As we began our trip, dozing on and off, low clouds covered the tops of mountains, suspended above the city. We wound and snaked our way along the mountains listening to festive meringue and other tourist-y Latino pop music. Our first stop was at a rest area overlooking el ... read more
Lago de San Pablo 2
Cataratas de Peguche
Amanda, Me, Sandra, and Stephen Trecking Through the Falls

Tot: 1.313s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 9; qc: 90; dbt: 0.1235s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 3; ; mem: 1.5mb