Arriving at Pacha Mama we discovered that no one was home, but the back door was open, so we let ourselves in and waited
. Eventually we saw a local come up the stairs and we asked for Robert, our contact for the school volunteers. She told us he was at the library and she said she would take us there. So we left our packs at the house and walked with her, Rosa, to the library, about a 10- minute walk. Once at the library we met Floren, a volunteer from Germany and Robert. We sat with Robert and talked with him a while. He is a wonderful story teller and over 80- years old. A student he was tutoring arrived and so we headed back to the house. We met several other volunteers and were shown the lay of the land.
Robert makes oatmeal every morning for the volunteers at 6:30am. Then the volunteers who are working at the school in the morning start walking to school at 7:20am so they arrive before 8am when school starts. It is about a 30-40 minute walk. The students ride in the back of a pick up truck to get to school. The volunteers take turns cooking dinner throughout the week, but since it was Sunday, we had to fend for ourselves. We took a taxi truck into the centre of town (really just a stretch of the highway) and bought some avocados, tomatoes, buns and bananas for dinner. We then found enough beds in one room after some kind volunteers offered to move.
The only internet nearby is at the library, which is closing now, so I'm going to throw some pictures in and continue next weekend when we are back to civilization after our trek into the Ecuadorian Amazon!
After getting off the bus in Salasaka, we walked over to a bunch of pick-up trucks. Our instructions from the director of the school we wanted to volunteer at told us to ask a driver to take us to Pacha Mama (meaning Earth Mother), the house where the school volunteers stay. Caleb asked the first driver in Spanish if he knew where it was, but he didn't. We asked the next driver and he did know where the house was, so we jumped into the back of the pick up truck and started out. We found out that this is the main mode of transportation for the local people, who are indigenous to the area, the Kichwa people. Caleb and Aiden thought it was so fun to ride in the back of a truck! Fortunately there are many speed bumps around to slow the trucks down, although when they do slow down it's a bit of a jolt!