Day 6: Mindo Cloud Forrest & Quilotoa Lake
So day 6 was off to an early start when our group split into 2 as we had to option to either go zip lining in the Andes Mountains and tubing, or to hike up an active volcano on top of a donkey to a lake where we could kayak! Both groups had amazing times, filled with fun and culture!
While in the mountains, we did 10 different zip lines, each one of them with their own spectacular view of the mountains. The views were breathtaking and definitely something we will never forget.
For the excursion to the volcano, we started our day at a small indigenous village named Pujili. The Pujili Market takes place at Pujili every Sunday. People from surrounding villages and towns gather at the indigenous market to sell a wonderful variety of traditional trades and crafts in order to make a meager living for their families🌽🍎🐤. We were able to learn about how corn meal is made, which was a pretty cool and cultural experience. It is very self sufficient and had a lot of strong authentic smells.
We then arrived at a look off where they told us an 800 year old legend of two kings. There were two volcanoes that were owned by kings who were fighting over the princess. One king made the others river go dry and the one who still had the water won. Once the princess died, he buried her under his lake. Legend has it, if the color of the lake is green she is sad, and if it is blue she is happy.💙😊
We then arrived at the Quilotoa lake. This is where we walked down into the volcano, kayaked in the lake and then took donkey rides up the Playita Quilotoa volcano. This volcano was 3000 meters up. A lot of families had gathered there for the holiday weekend and we praised them for making it up without the help of donkeys (because we are clearly in tip top athletic shape).
Day 7 - Orphanage
This morning we got up and traveled to an orphanage about an hour away. The children ranged in age from 3 and 1/2, to 15 years old. They stay on average at the orphanage for roughly 1 year. We were able to get a bit of a background on the children from the director "their auntie", before meeting them. As soon as we got there we were able to visit with the children in their dinning room. We opened up the crayons and stickers and they started coloring their hearts away! 📘
We were able to open up our donation suitcases to divide all of the toys and school supplies for everyone. Something that was very heartwarming about the school supplies is that they told us it would last them until January. 📝(WOW). Throughout the morning, we were able to play with the children with all of their newly donated toys on their courtyard. The kids were having a blast and it was awesome to see how much they became comfortable with us as the day went on 👑.
One of the biggest highlights of the day was when a little boy told us that us being there was like "magic"💖