Day 7, Ecuador 2020

Our Valentine’s Day started with a few of us enjoying the rooftop pool of the Wyndham. It was the first day in some time that we were able to wake up at a reasonable time, and most of us took advantage of that.

After breakfast, we hopped on a bus and headed to the markets, to buy gifts for our friends and family, but mainly for ourselves, to remember our trip to Ecuador.

Many of us practiced our bartering skills, others our Spanish, and the rest walked around with just a “¿Cuanto cuesta?” up their sleeve.

We bought all sorts of things, from hammocks, to pants, and from bracelets, to fanny packs, begging the question, “How are we going to fit all this in our carry ons?”

We returned to the hotel, had lunch, and began compiling all our notes from Puna Island.

After this, we headed to Oro Verde hotel for the debriefing, where Professor Marinas presented how our trip went to the top folks at Interagua.

Interagua surprised us with the news that they would fly their plant engineer, Aracelly, to Illinois to listen to our final presentation. Additionally they told us they would fly one of us back down to Ecuador to present our findings to Interagua. We were delighted to hear this news.

We said our goodbyes to Juan Pablo, who was incredible to us the entire journey. Him and his wife presented us with tokens from their home town, Cuenca.

We headed back to the hotel, and finished off the last of the in-country lab work we had to do.

When work was over, we headed to dinner and enjoyed a Valentine’s meal together. After that, many of us gathered, including Teresa from Interagua, to go out and experience the night life of Guayaquil and celebrate our time together in Ecuador.

– Sam Kottoor