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July 13th 2011
Published: July 13th 2011
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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 bedroom and a beautiful new view of Quito from the living room window.

Seeing as Tuesday would also be my last day with a lot of the volunteers we all went out that night (taking advantage of happy hour at many of the locals) and, with unparalleled enthusiasm, dug into individualized pizzas, something I had been craving the entire month. We were all, no doubt, satisfied.

The next morning I got up early to spend a day and a night in Ibarra, having loved the city so much when we hurriedly drove through it a few weeks earlier. The ride was much longer than I had anticipated (the vehicle making frequent stops), but I finally made it and had Fernanda, who lived in the home I would be staying at, waiting to pick me up. We drove to the house, which is surrounded by lemon and lime trees and several vines of grapes. Underneath run chickens and their dog, Toto. I spent a few hours playing with Maria Celeste, the granddaughter of my host, Cecilia. She was incredibly cute and very nice girl to spend time with.

When her mother came home from work, she drove Celeste, Fernanda and I to the nearby Laguna Yahuarcocha. Even with thunder clouds rolling in, we avoided the storm and took one of the many fantastical paddleboats to barely the middle of the laguna. It was one of the hardest workouts of my entire trip.

We then drove up a nearby mountain to see El Arcangel. The archangel San Miguel is the patron saint of Ibarra and a huge white statue of the saint has been placed, giving the it a full panoramic view of the entire city. As it started getting dark, we picked up Cecilia from work and drove around nighttime Ibarra, taking a glimpse at the many lit up churches, bustling markets, and busy open restaurants. We bought some delicious fritadas and extra tostados from an outdoor vendor. I spent the rest of the evening playing with Celeste and her silly bands.

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