Now a week out from our whirlwind tour of the sustainable businesses of Ecuador, I am finally coming out of my Latin America withdrawal. Our itinerary after visiting the Galapagos finished strong with two interesting lectures from sustainability advocates, a visit to a cacao and banana plantation, and some old fashioned tourism in the city of Guayaquil (a bit more on all this below).
Thursday, March 13, 2014:
I am sad to say that our time in the Galapagos Islands is just about at a close. We arrived on Baltra, then took a bus to a ferry to another bus to a zodiac to our boat, the Coral II. We had about 30 minutes to settle ourselves, then went back to Santa Cruz island to visit the Charles Darwin Research Center. Santa Cruz is one of the two islands (out of 18) in the Galapagos where people are allowed to live, the other being San Crisobál (we didn’t have time to visit). The town we visited is called Puerto Ayora.
Saturday March 8, 2014:
16 peoples’ journey to Ecuador started just yesterday, March 7. At 4 am, we piled into our cars and made the drive to Dulles airport. Two planes and a bus later, it was about 6 pm and we were in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Seeing as we are in Ecuador as business students, it is only fitting our itinerary took us to Guayaquil instead of Quito, as Quito is Ecuador’s capital city (our Washington, DC), but Guayaquil is the financial capital of the country (our New York). Tomorrow morning, we head to the Galapagos Islands (because we are, after all, studying the business of saving nature, of which the islands have much).
Just about everything that has transpired since January 1, 2014 has seemed slightly surreal to me. Let me elaborate: I was fortunate enough to delay my return to school in order to make my debut to society in Charleston, South Carolina. Four years ago had you told me, a Boston girl through and through, that I would miss the first half-week of my last semester of college to travel to the antebellum south and flounce around in a wedding dress among society’s finest (perhaps a bit of an overstatement…I was invited, after all), I probably would have thrown my Dunkin Donuts iced coffee in your face. Then at the Olympics, Sean White didn’t get gold—didn’t even medal—and then rom-com king Matt McConaughey beat out Leonardo DiCaprio for an Academy Award. To top it all off, I was wearing shorts on Sunday and a day later school was canceled and there were 7 inches of snow on the ground. What is up 2014?!?!?!?!