Ecuador / Galapagos - July 10, 2010

Monday, July 26, 2010

The End



I put together a little video of some of my photos (I had to take a LOT of them out so they would fit!), so I hope you enjoy it. It seems to sum up the trip pretty well.

I also want to thank Fabian and Alfonso...our amazing tour guides who were with us through thick and thin. They were wonderful and often went above and beyond the call of duty! I also want to thank all of the DSA folks: Bradey, Anson, Treana, Jeff, Holly and the rest who made this trip come true for us. You were wonderful to work with and I would to it again in a minute! The parents of the students also should be commended. Thank you for giving your children this opportunity. They are so lucky to have you--even if you did have to make some sacrifices along the way. Finally, I also want to thank all of the kids. Each and every one of you are such intelligent, responsible, happy, inquisitive, and all-round good people. I can't wait to see what you do with your new found knowledge and experiences. I hope it is a trip that you will remember forever.

Thanks to the readers as well! I hope it inspired you to create adventures of your own! Enjoy the rest of the summer! (And now, if you'll excuse me, I need a nap!!) :)

The Adventure Continues...


Day 14 was a built-in travel day...4 hours from Guayaquil to Miami, 3 hours to Chicago, 1.5 hours to Pittsburgh. No problem, right? ...

When we arrived in Miami, we didn't have a long layover, so we casually jogged to get to customs, but we had to wait forever for our luggage. Our suitcases were practically the last ones! We rallied, checked our bags, and hurried through security. Then we RAN to our gate (not a short run). They said we just made it...We were the last ones on!

A brief nap was in order as well as dinner, since I knew that we were not going to have time to eat in Chicago considering we had to change airlines. When we landed in Chicago, we RAN to Ally's gate to drop her off (it was delayed an hour) and then sprinted through 2 terminals at O'Hare to the United wing. It was going to be close. The kids were losing it a little bit...dropping stuff, couldn't find boarding passes, etc. That's to be expected. We were so close to home! However, when we got to the gate...Our flight had been canceled. :( The customer service line kept us standing around for an hour and we were lucky to have been booked on the first flight out the next morning. After making all of the arrangements, it was almost 11 and we finally got to the hotel at 11:30. The kids were so exhausted. I was exhausted. We just wanted to get home. However, there were NO complaints! I showed tears at one point because I felt so bad for them, but they were troopers and just went to bed.

Ally's flight wasn't canceled until 12:30. By the time I went to pick her up it was 1:30 and we got back at 2. Our wake up call was 4:30am!!!

I'm going to "yadda yadda" the rest of the travel woes, but turns out that we are all home safe and sound and can now reflect on the most excellent experience....including the bonus day of adventures! :) Every second was worth it and I am so lucky to have had the opportunity to travel with those students. They are amazing!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Galapagos

video
Finally, the last leg of the trip!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Cuenca

video
Here are the adventures in Cuenca!

Day 13

Oh, you have no idea how nice it is to be back to the mainland...While there aren't a lot of giant tortoises or snorkeling opportunities, there are iguanas. And internet! :) Due to the amount of "sad mail" I received, I realized how many people are following us on the blog and are disappointed when we don't post! I was disappointed too, but here we are...back at the Hampton Inn in Guayaquil, soaking up our last hours in Ecuador.

The camera crew and I conducted student interviews tonight and Jenny and I are frantically uploading photos, so go back and check the previous posts to see some of the photos that are newly published! Captions coming soon...

These past few days have been jam-packed with snorkeling, studying wild life, boating, and beaching. Today we flew back to Guayaquil and explored the city. We saw the Moorish clock tower, climbed aboard a school boat, hiked up 444 stairs (+more) to the top of the city lighthouse, and enjoyed our last dinner together. I'll have more to write when I'm not so tired, but here are some photos from today for now! We'll see you back in the states soon!

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Day 12 Photos

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Day 11 Photos

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Programs Details

Duration 14 days
When July 10 - 23, 2010
Focus Ecology
History/Culture
Evolution