The third week of January was the WorldTeach mid-service conference. I was looking forward to it since it meant I was able to see lots of fun people that I had gotten to know so well during orientation and then had not seen for four months! I couldn’t believe that it was already time for mid-service! Time flies in Ecuador.
We all met up in Quito to board a private bus that took us right to Mindo, a small town about 2.5 hours away. (On my way to the bus I passed a guy selling ducks and took a picture. Why are the ducks so happy to sit on the corner waiting to be sold??) Mindo is known as a magical little village filled with butterflies, organic chocolate, and canopy tours. I was ready for a beautiful experience with my fellow volunteers. However, the moment we got off the bus it started to rain. It was a hard, steady rain that lasted the full length of the conference. The conference was scheduled from Thursday until Saturday at noon and that is exactly how long it rained. We are talking crazy, pouring rain that created mud and an enormous amount of noise on the tin roof of the hotel in which we stayed. (I won’t go into the the noise the neighboring rooster made at 4am!)
Despite the crazy rain, it was a blast to see everyone. I don’t know why I thought people would look different but everyone looks the same! It was really nice to connect with everyone and find out that we were all feeling the same way about our ecua-experiences even if we were assigned to different places. Thursday night we had great pizza and fun. During the night I developed a sore throat like nothing I have ever experienced which meant that I woke up and headed over to the pharmacy. The lady working there brought out her flashlight and told me she was sure didn’t have strep throat. She gave me a pat on the back, a strong dose of ibuprofen and I was back at the conference. Friday night we all went out to dinner at a pretty nice restaurant and then it was off to bed for me since my sore throat did not subside for the entire weekend.
On Saturday at noon the conference ended and most of us decided that we would head home instead of stay the extra night we had planned because of the weather. So we bought our bus tickets and spent the time we had left visiting an INDOOR butterfly farm. It was amazing. We saw butterflies being born and I picked up quite a few butterflies too! It was a nice way to end the weekend.
Halfway through my experience!!!???!!! it just goes to show I have to work harder to take advantage of everything in Ecuador!