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South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil January 19th 2010

Guayaquil, like Quito, is one of the biggest cities in Ecuador. Being located right on the coast it is huge with importing and exporting goods. However its climate is more comparable to that of Galapagos because again of its coastal location. Guayaquil is the destination of most people in the Galapagos when they need to do shopping, complex medical procedures, schooling, etc because it is only a short (and reasonably cheap) hour and a half flight. I am not a big city person, so Guayaquil was just another Quito in my mind. It was still nice though and I enjoyed my time! ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island January 18th 2010

My last day in the Galapagos islands is bringing on many mixed feelings. The most obvious things I feel are sadness that I am leaving such an amazing place, but excited to be reunited with my friends and family back in Canada. Living in a place that is so drastically different than Canada has opened my eyes in many ways. It has given me a wonderful opportunity to see (in a small way) just what else the world has to offer. It also has made me realize the things I love about Canada, which I was oblivious to until removed from my lifestyle consisting of these things. I feel my time in Ecuador has been an equal ratio of work and play, with both instances allowing me to learn and grow as a person. I cannot ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island January 16th 2010

One thing I have wanted to see since I have set foot in Ecuador is a local wedding. Today my American friend Jenni married a local guy, and the ceremony was on the beach among the sealions and marine iguanas. The reception was small, an intimate group of family and friends. Her hair and dress was simple, yet VERY beautiful! A light meal was served by a local restaurant on the balcony of an upscale hostel right beside my house. The music was a wide range of English and Spanish music, from Barry Manilow to Daddy Yankee. All the best Checho and Jenni! ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » San Cristóbal Island January 14th 2010

As our short visit came to a close, I began getting very excited to return to Canada. I am also beginning to worry... with January being the rainy season the weather has been unsettled. Any slight breeze with no sun leaves me in goosebumps. Going home to -30 degrees celsius Canadian winter is going to be a huge shock to my system. I will need to construct some sort of insulated bubble that I can roll around in until spring!... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Isabela Island January 8th 2010

From Santa Cruz we took a speedboat over to the island Isabela, which is the biggest island in the Galapagos (4 times the size of Santa Cruz). Though it has the largest land area, it has one of the smallest populations. Isabela is famous for it´s volcanoes, however these sites are located far apart and are usually only visited by people with longer itineraries. We were to be only Isabela for only 3 nights, and spent most of that time exploring the small town via the dirt roads. Our hotel was right on the main beach, where we could walk for 5kms in the rolling waves. ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 6th 2010

After meeting up with Mom and Dad we decided to go for a quick walk around town. I suggested they put on their sunscreen, but they needed to let thier snow white skin see some 11am overcast Ecuadorian sun rays. After only an hour Dad´s neck and forearms were an exotic shade of red, complete with a white lines from his chain and t-shirt. Better learn early I guess!!... read more

January in the Galapagos is the beginning of the rainy season. Today was the first time I have seen it rain here since I arrived on November 1st. In fact, ir rained so much that a few rooms here began to leak! At 3am I had some of the mission doctors knocking on my door looking to use my extra beds. Good thing I was heading out to Santa Cruz in just a few hours!... read more

Today was the day that Mom and Dad were supposed to be arriving in San Cristobal for a long awaited visit. At 6:30am I got a call from Dad at the Guayaquil airport, and he frantically informed me that there must have been a mistake when they booked the tickets. They were about to board a plane to Baltra, which was a totally different island! They had already tried to switch their flight, but the one to San Cristobal was full. It was too late for me to catch the 7am boat to Santa Cruz (which is beside Baltra) so they would have to fend for themselves until morning. I spent the day trying to get them on a different flight, and finally to my relief the Aerogal office informed me they were on the right ... read more

Today was my fellow volunteer´s last day in the Galapagos. He would be heading back to Basecamp in Quito for a couple days, then back to New York. A group of us went out to kareoke to celebrate, and I showed those South Americans a thing or two about how to hit the notes of "As Long As You Love Me" by the Backstreet Boys and "Africa" by Toto. ... read more

A group of American surgeons, nurses, and anesthesiologists arrived today on a medical mission in Hospital Oskar Jandl. Jon and I helped them out by showing them around and introducing the other doctors and nurses. The main surgeries performed at Hospital Oskar Jandl are c-sections, appendectomies, and tube-tying. There are some exceptions, but most people requiring complicated surgeries and referred to the hospital in Guayaquil. These American surgeons were planning on helping out in any way they could, but more specifically by performing many hernia and gall bladder surgeries. They came here loaded down with supplies and a ton of energy! Their help is going to be greatly appreciated! ... read more

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