Once there I met up with my friends at the bay area. A whole bunch of us went through Guayaquil so it was great to see everyone. We had dinner at a cute restaurant on a cute little cobble-stone street. Then we walked along the bay and got ice cream from a McDonlad's (it was the only thing open). That part of Guayaquil is actually very pretty. Since I didn't get to see any more of the city besides the pretty part I have decided that it isn't a bad city like everyone says it is.
Then the next morning we all hopped on a bus to our resort on the beach. We were at a place called Alandaluz, which is an eco-lodge. It has its own beach and really nice rooms. The only downside is that there is nothing else for quite a while. The beaches in Ecuador have one road that goes past all of them and this beach is very secluded from the rest. While at the resort I got to hang out with my friends and catch up with all the World-Teach stuff. It was a really nice vacation! However, the ocean was super super strong. The undertow made it so you really couldn't go into the water past your knees. I've never felt water like that. There was also one dinner where they made the aji sauce so hot that we all had to send back our food. I put just a tiny bit on mine and my nose was running, my eyes were watering, and I started sweating. I have no idea what kind of pepper they put in there but it was insane!
After the conference I tried to catch a bus to Manta so I could fly back to Quito. I didn't want to take a long bus again because then I would have no time to plan for my classes on Monday. I waited for an hour and a half on the side of the road and only one bus came but it didn't stop for me. After that I was pretty sun-burned and exhausted from waiting so I caught a caminoeta to another city and took a bus from there. In Manta I went to the beach and got some really good seafood. I also met a nice necklace vender named Christian who talked to me for 20 minutes about some jail in the Galapagos. I ended up buying a necklace for $1 because he was super nice.
Then I made it to my plane and in about 30 minutes I was in Quito. Flying is so much better and easier! And it is only $50! (The bus is $10). I think I will take a plane from now on for any bus ride over 8 hours. Once in Quito I went to the terminal and got a bus to Ibarra. My family wasn't home so thank goodness I knew the alarm code and password and they didn't put an extra lock on my door. Wohoo!
Today we went and had lunch at Yahruacocha (I have no idea how to spell it) lake. It is a lake about 20 minutes from Ibarra. The restaurant was up a hill and in a plantation. It had a million flowers and fruit trees. I would definitely take visitors there to check it out.
Tomorrow I'm back at CECAMI for my final week!