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Ecuador + Galapagos 3 B • July 9-July 22, 2022

Adios con mucho amor!

July 22, 2022

Our beloved EGP family,

We woke up to our last beautiful view of the Napo river and enjoyed our usual eggs, bread, fruit, and some granola and yogurt. We packed up and made the trek down to the canoe to get back to the other side of the river. We experienced some rain, a first for our time in the rainforest, and had some hilarious moments getting the canoes through the high water. Once on the other side we met our bus driver and headed to our last big activity of the trip: white water rafting! In one boat was Camden, Hall, Juliette, Evie, Berlin, and Baker, and in the other boat was Lachlan, Bryan, Clementine, Norah, Maxine and Sloane. White water rafting was so much fun especially due to the river being high making the rapids bigger. We paddled together and were able to take breaks to swim in the river. Norah was the first to ride the bull (sit on the front) followed by Clementine and Bryan. Hall was the first on the other boat followed by Evie and Juliette.  We stopped for lunch in a village and purchased some chocolate bars before making our own burritos. We returned to our rafts and finished our time on the river with big smiles. Next week headed to our hostel for some chill time where everyone was able to take hot showers and repack their bags. For dinner we went into the town of Tena and had pizza and crepes. Following dinner we had our last moonup led by our last leaders of the day, Sloane and Camden, who asked, “what are your three core values that drive your life?” and “what has been your favorite moment of the trip?”. We also did something special for our last moonup of the summer and everyone went around and gave a compliment to each person. Easily my and Henry’s favorite moment of the trip to experience this!

While we suspect the kids stayed up late together for their last night they were chipper when we woke them up for the final breakfast of eggs, croissants, and pineapple. Our day of travel began and we jammed out on the bus for a few hours before stopping at a hot spring up in the mountains. We spent about two hours at the hot springs relaxing and soaking up the last moments of our trip, literally. For lunch we went to a restaurant nearby and had a mix of all kinds of foods and everyone remarked they’re definitely ready for American food – we already have a plan to all go eat together after we land in Atlanta! We continue our bus travel to the airport where spent our last few hours and enjoyed our last meal together before checking our bags, going through security, and making a home base at our gate. America here we come!

What a special two weeks! We will miss everyone so much, thank you for sharing your wonderful kids with us!

<3 Georgia and Henry

 


Service and smiles!

July 21, 2022

Hola familia y amigos,

We woke up for our last morning in Banos to a lovely breakfast of croissants, fresh fruit, eggs, hot chocolate, and coffee. Berlin enjoyed her usual cup of coffee while the boys talked about tv shows – it is funny hearing kids describe their favorite tv shows when they cannot pull up scenes on their phones! We loaded up our bags and selves into the bus but before our journey to the Amazon rainforest we stopped at a gas station to load up snacks as some comfort food for the next three days. Lachlan led the charge on snacks loading up with practically a month’s worth for the Ecuadorian bargain of only $6. After a few hours we arrived at the Napo river to a fleet of canoes ready to take us into the rainforest. The boys all got on one canoe and ended up needing a little push from the men on the dock, but our girls floated away effortlessly. After a 15 minute motorized canoe ride with our bags we arrived at our lodging. Our group is very physically strong and carried their duffels up quite a few stairs with ease, but we had some wise girls in the back (Evie and Clementine) asked if someone else would grab their bags for them and they instead carried water jugs. Once settled in our cabins we joined for lunch in the main dining area for chicken wings, rice, fries, cucumber salad, vegetable soup, and watermelon. Everyone was stuffed after lunch and exclaimed maybe they wouldn’t need all their snacks after all! Bryan changed into his overalls for our adventure ahead and following lunch we loaded up on the motorized canoes and went downstream to a village that produces chocolate. We got a tour of their farm before getting to walk through the process of making chocolate. First we collected the beans that were already removed and fermented from the plant pod and brought them into the hut. Camden always kept his nifty bug repelling machine on him! We then put them over fire where Clementine stepped up to stir followed by Norah. After they made popping noises we removed them from the fire and laid them out over a giant palm leaf. Lachlan started peeling the beans before realizing they were very hot so Baker and Berlin stepped in to help as well as Maxine and Juliette. After the beans were all peeled, we put them into a half coconut shell before Hall poured them into the bean grinder. Bryan ground up all the beans and Evie collected the bowl and passed it around for everyone to smell. We then put the grounds into a pan with some water and cinnamon leaves and began to stir. Clementine again stirred first with Norah following and we kept trying our creation realizing we desperately needed to add sugar. Sloane, although not a chocolate lover, tried the different variations of our concoction before we finally got it tasting somewhat like the chocolate we used to. Our guides brought us fruits shaped into a mural of a palm tree and we dipped pieces of it into our chocolate like fondue. After this fun and unique experience we headed back to our lodge and hungout on the hammocks over looking the river. For dinner we had beef, rice, vegetables, and fruit. Our leaders of the day, Hall and Clementine, led our nightly meeting by asking for us to “describe a day you wish you could go back at relive”. This was a wonderful question that gave everyone a chance to tell some pretty special stories.

 

For our second morning in the rainforest we woke up to a rooster and had a buffet style breakfast of croissants, eggs, fruits, sausage, and plantains. We put on our provided rain boots and loaded up the canoe for an exciting day of community service. When we arrived there were kids waiting for us on the shore waiting to lead us through the heavy plant coverage to their school. Our tasks were to repaint the outside of the school and strip paint off some walls. We were easily distracted by games with the kids including soccer and races of piggy back rides with Lachlan bringing some real speed. Bryan was our most dedicated worker and did not stop the whole time we were there. Evie instantly bonded with the kids and was being chased around while Clementine somehow ended up with paint all over her face. We were already having so much fun before the best part was revealed: one of the local kids found a finger monkey! It was the size of an index finger and loved hair. Sloane had it resting on her thumb for a good while, but Baker let it crawl around his head before it then rested on the brim of Camden’s hat. Speaking of hats, the local kids loved jumping up on Hall and stealing his baseball hat with big smiles on their faces. Maxine led the kids in a game of soccer and they loved holding hands with her. We stayed in the community for a few hours working and playing before we enjoyed a delicious meal of vegetable rice and watermelon. Following lunch we headed back to our lodge and while originally we were going to do a little hike through the rainforest we decided we’d rather swim. Berlin was the first into the river and was surprised to find that the sand was more like clay. The rest of the girls followed Berlin in then the boys and for the next several hours they did not stop throwing the clay/sand/mud at each other. There are some pretty funny pictures of all of them playing and it was one of the most joyful moments of the trip. The boys then built a ramp of sand and tried to jump off of it into the river before they turned their attention to burying Norah. Once she was adequately covered the boys picked her up and threw her into the water with her screaming and laughing the whole time. Following the river we returned to our rainforest lodge for some downtime and showers. For dinner we had rice, omelets, fruit, and soup. Our leaders of the day Evie and Lachlan had a great question for our moonup, asking “what is your happy place?”.

 

For our last day in the amazon rainforest we woke up to breakfast of bread, eggs, fruit, sausage, and coffee as well as tea. Everyone was super pumped for another day of community service back with the amazing kids we met to continue our work on their school! As soon as we arrived Baker and Sloane resumed their positions on the side wall with a solid beige paint color. Bryan gathered a group of local kids and had them surrounding him as he rocked his overalls and painted the roof white. Camden and Maxine chipped paint off the back building while Lachlan engaged some kids in a game of soccer. For lunch we enjoyed a delicious meal of vegetable pasta and hot homemade tomato sauce alongside fresh fruit. Following our lunch we had the exciting opportunity to travel upstream on our new typical mode of transport, the motorized canoe, to a new village for some cultural immersion. Upon arriving Hall was instantly utilized for his strength and helped strip bamboo to make strings for the local ladies woven works. We got to see an incredible dance performance with Juliette and Clementine dancing their hearts out with some of the village women. Evie and Berlin rocked face paint made from berry juice and had big smiles all day. We also got to witness a ceramics demonstration! Following our long morning and afternoon we decided to return to the riverbank and have a relaxing evening swimming. Norah jumped right in to cool off before we all trekked back up to the lodge. Following showers and a book club meeting as almost all the girls have now passed around the same book and have quite a few theories about the plot twist, we had dinner. For dinner we had rice, fried chicken, beet salad, and passion fruit. Our leaders of the day Baker and Berlin asked in our nightly meeting, “what is something you wish more people knew about you?”

 

We cannot believe we only have two days of the trip left!! Stay tuned for our final update and thank you’s to be posted as all your awesome kiddos travel home!

<3 Georgia and Henry

A word from the kiddos:

  • Bryan-Thank y’all for letting me go on another Moondance. They just keep getting better. I meet a ton of people on this trip who I will never forget. It was truly one of the coolest experiences ever. The white water rafting was sick and so was the Amazon rainforest.
  • Baker – Thank you mom and dad for sending me to Ecuador. It has been so much fun. Love y’all
  • Hall- Thanks mom and dad for sending Me on this Moondance. I have had so much fun and it is an experience I will never forget . Love y’all
  • Lachlan – thanks mom and dad for giving me the opportunity to go to Ecuador. It is better than Maui and all that was expected. My favorite part was the horse back riding by mountains.
  • Camden – thank you so much for sending me on this amazing trip.  I had so much fun and made some great friends.  My favorite part was riding horses around the mountains.  Love y’all!
  • Clementine: thank you so much for this absolutely amazing opportunity to go on this trip. i had the best time and I met some of my best friends ever. i am so grateful for everything! love y’all!
  • Evie: Thank you Mom and Dad for giving me the incredible opportunity to go on this incredible trip. Everything about it was perfect. My favorite part was probably snorkeling with sea lions. I love y’all so much!!
  • Norah- thank you so much mom and dad for giving me the chance to go on this incredible trip. I am so beyond grateful. The highlight of the trip was swimming in the river in the Amazon. Love y’all
  • Berlin- hey momma and dad thank y’all so so much for sending me on this trip I’m so happy i went and loved it so much! I met the best people and im so thankful! Love y’all!
  • Juliette- thank you so so so much mama and papa for giving me the opportunity to go on this unforgettable amazing trip ! I’m so happy and beyond grateful and thankful for this and for y’all! One of my favorite parts was dancing and running in the rain while we were in the Amazon river listening to music!!!
  • Maxine – Thank you sooo much Mimi and David for letting come on this trip it was an amazing opportunity for me and I am beyond grateful. I have learned so many things and have made so many friends! Love you lots.
  • Sloane Thank you so much for letting me go on this trip. The wait was worth it. I have been so happy these past two weeks and can’t wait to tell you all about it. One of my favorite moments was pushing my friends off the raft into the Amazon river while rafting.

Que Paso Familias y Amigos?!

July 17, 2022

Que paso familias y amigos?!

 

For our second morning on San Cristobal group 3B woke up the sun shining brightly and a hearty breakfast of toast, eggs, cheese, fruits, and juice. We were very excited for our morning activity and walked down to the pier to board our private boat! Lachlan and Hall sat up top with the captain while Bryan and Baker jammed to music below. The girls spread out on the front of the boat with their colorful swimsuits and towels. The first stop on our boat tour was to a small rocky island that is home to nesting blue footed boobies and frigate birds. We saw baby boobies, frigates, and sea lions! Clementine and Evie walked together in the back laughing and talking while Berlin, Norah, and Juliette posed by the crystal-clear water. For our second stop Camden and Sloane grabbed their wet suits and went snorkeling with a group of sea lions. Maxine sat on the front of the boat overlooking the water and marine life. Lachlan swam to the small beach shore in flippers while the girls took the dingy over. Everyone had a great time on shore and on the boat, and it was bittersweet realizing this was our last day we would be swimming with sea lions. Once we wore ourselves out, we all got back aboard, and all sat on the front of the boat singing and talking. Juliette grabbed some watermelon and tried the beach juice while Berlin ate some plantain chips below deck. The captain casually drove us back to the pier so we could enjoy a lovely lunch right on the water. Camden described the fresh fish sticks as the best ones he had ever had! Everyone tried the fresh passion fruit juice as they devoured their fish sticks, chicken pasta, fish burgers, veggie rice, and French fries. Following lunch, we took everyone to pick out an afternoon snack before heading to a beach about ten minutes from our hostel. Upon arriving at the beach, we walked down the coastline until we got to a lagoon with less waves and more sea lions. Everyone was excited to see juvenile sea lions and the boys decided to sit up on the guard stand to get a better view of them all. Clementine and Evie both read their books while Norah, Berlin, Maxine, and Juliette napped. Sloane went on a beach walk to the edge of the lava rocks and back. When we had our fill of relaxing, we returned to the hostel, and everyone took showers and walked around the town. For dinner we went to a restaurant that had a menu featuring American food and Mexican food so there was quite the variety for everyone. Bryan and Hall were the first to get sombreros followed by the other boys and the girls all got fun fruit smoothies. After dinner everyone ran to the playground to burn off a little evening energy as per usual before our Moonup. Our leaders of the day Baker and Norah, picked for their positive attitudes and efforts to make every activity fun, asked “what is one of the things you value in life?”. The majority of the answers involved family in one way or another which I’m sure many out there reading this will feel happy to hear!

 

For our last morning on San Cristobal, we slept in two extra hours and enjoyed a late breakfast of empanadas, watermelon, bananas, juice, coffee, and hot chocolate! We had one last tour around town with Sloane picking up some souvenirs and Bryan, Baker, and Camden stocking up on snacks. We listened to music before our bus took us to the airport and everyone checked their bags to Quito! Clementine continued reading her book and before we knew it we were in mainland Ecuador. Upon arriving at our hostel, we took an hour for downtime before enjoying spaghetti and garlic bread. For our nightly meeting our leaders of the day Hall and Juliette, picked for their empathy and sensitivity to others needs, asked, “what is something you’ve experienced that made you grow as a person?”.

 

We woke up bright and early with the sun yet to rise in the sky to a grab and go breakfast of muffins and juice. Our adventures on the mainland start now! We were able to sleep on the bus ride before we arrived at a ranch high up in the mountains. We encouraged everyone to drink water as we are now at around 13,000 feet! We suited up in chaps and ponchos with Juliette the first to don the traditional gear. Everyone had different ponchos with Berlin and Clementine matching, but Evie liking her colors the best and a variety of chaps. We then got matched to our horses. Norah got a white stallion which we quickly figured out did not like to move much and Hall sat up above everyone else on the grey and white horse he referred to as the “alpha”. Lachlan had on his pit vipers and looked stylish on his chestnut horse while Bryan wore overalls and led his horse with ease. Camden had on black chaps and a grey poncho matching his black horse and he looked like a true ranch man! Maxine trotted with ease up and down the mountain using the reins showing off her experience while Baker’s horse took the lead for him. Sloane also showed off her skills looking like a true natural as she effortlessly guided her horse along the trail. We rode for about an hour uphill with Clementine in the front the whole way before we reached a lovely clearing with a stellar view of the snowcapped Cotopaxi Volcano. We took a lot of photos together and enjoyed warm tea as the air became increasingly brisk. We rode down for about another hour before all taking a much-needed bathroom break from all our hydration and then we returned to the bus to go to lunch. We stopped at what seemed to be a random building housing snacks and were served the most deliciously seasoned burgers, chicken sandwiches, fries, and vegetables. Everyone grabbed a sweet treat and a water bottle before we continued our journey to Banos. On our next road trip stop we hit a local market and made some great as well as unique purchases. Sloane got two bags and a poncho with llamas on it. The other girls all got colorful woven pants with matching headbands. Bryan had an eclectic find of a cow hoof water bottle which then Baker also had to have. Camden found the plainest poncho design he could while others found some crazy patterns. A short ride later we arrived at our hostel which is across from a huge park and playground. The group immediately maximized their use of the basketball court and swings. Evie mentioned she had forgotten how much fun basketball can be. Some kids walked around the town while others challenged local kids to some games. For dinner we went to an Italian place near the hostel and dined on steak, chicken, and pastas. We went to a frozen yogurt place across the street for dessert before our nightly meeting during which our leaders of the day Berlin and Sloane, picked for their openness to the group, asked “what is your favorite aspect of your personality?”.

 

For our second day in Banos we got some much-needed rest before joining in the lobby of the hostel for fresh juice, fruit, croissants, and eggs. Our first activity of the morning was an open air brightly colored bus that took us on a scenery tour. Evie and Clementine leaned their heads out of the side in the tunnel yelling with joy while the party lights on the side flashed. We stopped at several points to see incredible hills and waterfalls with Sloane taking high quality photos on her camera. We split into two groups and took a cable car across a large crevice and Berlin got some great footage of how high up we were. Bryan’s shocked face when the cable car first started moving provided a lot of laughs. Our second stop was at a small waterfall hike. The girls walked together in the back while the boys sped ahead with Hall and Baker going under the waterfall (willingly) and getting quite wet. Following our waterfall tour to continue our action-packed morning we headed down then back up the mountain to “the swing at the end of the world”. Lachlan was the first to step up and once strapped in flew high over the side of the mountain to an incredible view. Camden went second on the swing followed by the rest of the group with Juliette and Maxine letting out the best screams. Following our adventurous half day, we went to a cafe funnily named “Blah Blah” for lunch. Evie got pancakes for lunch for a sweet treat while everyone else mainly stuck to sandwiches and pasta. We had a good amount of time allotted for wandering around the town, so everyone was able to pop into the stores that caught their eye and integrate into the culture of Banos. Afterwards some of the kids napped while others made their way to the basketball court. For dinner we went to restaurant nearby and everyone got steaks, chicken, BBQ wings, salad, and fries (and vegetarian option!). For the first time the kids decided they wanted to play basketball instead of getting ice cream cones following our meal! We all then met in the courtyard where our first leaders of the day to be re-elected, Bryan and Norah, asked “what are five things you want to accomplish in the next five years?”.

 

Stay tuned for our next update as we head into the rainforest!!

 

<3 Georgia and Henry

 

Till then here’s some shoutouts from our awesome kids:

 

  • Bryan: hey mom and dad hope y’all are holding it down. I’m having tons of fun with the guys here. The activities are awesome. Can’t wait to see y’all.
  • Baker: Hey mom and dad, I am having lots of fun being out of Tennessee. I miss y’all and can’t wait to see y’all soon
  • Hall: Hey mom and dad, I have had lots of fun in Ecuador and got to swim with sea lions and they got inches away, we also got to ride horses near the volcano cotapaxi. miss you. love Hall
  • Lachlan: hey mom and dad, miss y’all. Having a lot of fun in Ecuador and being out of Missouri. I have been swimming with sea lions and riding horses on mountains so don’t feel bad for me. Love you guys and can’t wait to see you.
  • Camden: hey mom and dad, I hope y’all r having fun in Jackson. Ecuador has been awesome, and the horse back riding has been my favorite. The Galapagos was amazing, and the sea lions were amazing. See y’all in a few days. Love y’all
  • Norah: hey mom dad and ains, I hope y’all are having a great time in cincy. Ecuador and Galapagos is amazing we are going to come here all together some day. I love the sea lions so much they are so much fun and the people here are amazing! See y’all soon I love and miss you guys so much.
  • Evie: Hola Mom, Dad, Jake, and Wally. I miss you guys like crazy, but it’s incredible here. We went to the Galapagos first, which were freaking unreal, and now we’re in Ecuador at this sick place called Banos, which might be the coolest place I’ve ever been. I love the group and leaders so so much. Give Honey a kiss for me!! (Also tell Jake my Spanish is now like 10x better than his)
  • Clementine: hola mom, mink, and tata! love and miss y’all! i have had so much fun mingling with the locals and playing with exotic animals also i battled fire ants in a lava tunnel. can’t wait to see y’all!
  • Berlin: hey family! Love and miss y’all so so much! It’s so fun here in Ecuador and can’t wait to tell y’all about the sea lions and show you all the pictures. See y’all soon!!! Love B<3
  • Juliette: Hi mama and papito and Charles! Love you and miss you guys so much. Having lots of fun in Ecuador and the Galapagos can’t wait to tel you all about it and see you guys! Love juju <3
  • Sloane: hola familia! I’m having a great time. I miss u guys so much. I have been taking a lot of cool photos that I can’t wait for u to see. I can’t wait to tell u guys about it. Love Sloane
  • Maxine: Hi mom and dad love you and miss you! Ecuador and Galapagos is amazing and I hope to show it to you some day. It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced. Can’t wait to see you soon! Love Max 😉

Giddy in the Galapagos!

July 13, 2022

Hola from group 3B!

Our 12 Moondancers arrived late all in one piece and thankfully with all their luggage as well as big smiles! Camden was quick to introduce himself in the airport (and shake hands!) with Juliette and Evie already leading the getting to know each other conversations on the couches nearby. We loaded up our bus and headed to our hostel in Quito where we had a quick pizza dinner and went over expectations for the trip. Everyone grabbed a hot shower and headed to bed after a tiring day with lots of anticipation for our journey ahead!

The following morning, we had an earlier wake up to return to the Quito airport so we could fly to the Galápagos Islands! We had breakfast at the airport with Berlin, ordering delicious cappuccinos while Baker picked the unique option of chicken and French fries. The rest of the group had more traditional pancakes, omelets, and avocado toast. On our flight some slept, some read, some played cards and before we knew it, we landed on Baltra Island! We grabbed our bags and took our transport to Santa Cruz for our first big activity: touring a tortoise conservatory! Before our walk we dined on chicken, fish, carbonara pasta, and pomodoro pasta giving us much needed energy after the flight. Bryan already started bonding with our guide Pepo making sure he ordered the same lunch as Pepo since he trusts his judgement. Throughout our walk we saw many giant tortoises as well as exploring lava tunnels – with the special opportunity to spot an owl! Lachlan was attentive and answered some questions later regarding tortoises’ shells. Following our tour, we headed into town to our hostel where we enjoyed a little free time before exploring. Baker made an excellent shirt purchase with Bryan, Lachlan, Hall, and Camden then all grabbing themselves some merchandise. Bryan even taught everybody a little something about bargaining! Juliette led the charge on bracelets with many of the girls already creating quite a colorful wrist stack. For dinner we went to a local deli where we dined upon pizza, sandwiches, fish and chips, and of course ice cream cones. Once returning to the hostel our leaders of the day, Camden and Evie, picked for how outgoing and mature they were on airport day, asked “who is someone who is a role model for you and why?”. Henry and I were completely blown away by how much the group opened up on night one and can’t wait to see how they progress over the next two weeks!

For our only morning on Santa Cruz, we decided to treat ourselves to the really trendy açaí bowl restaurant down the street. Norah custom designed her bowl while Lachlan had banana chocolate chip pancakes. Hall enjoyed a smoothie while Maxine and Juliette as well as Clementine and Evie split the fresh fruit bowls. Our morning activity was a beach walk more on the strenuous side with views of cactus trees, marine iguanas, and black tip sharks! Sloane, the ever vocal story teller and noticeable wearer of a bright pink hat, was excited to spot the sharks. Camden was the first in the water followed by Hall and the rest of the boys then the girls. Baker and Bryan tried to chicken fight while the girls tried to throw sweet Norah in the air for some cheerleading stunts. After drying off we walked back to town for lunch where Maxine had an amazing looking veggie quesadilla while others enjoyed burgers, chicken, tuna, rice, and French fries. Following lunch we walked to the pier and loaded up on a boat for our journey to our next island: San Cristobal! Bryan, Hall, Baker, and Camden sat up top with the captain while Lachlan braved it down below with the ladies. Sloane, although worried about motion sickness, powered through the ride and most of the girls got naps in, with Juliette able to sleep the longest! Once in San Cristobal everyone was super excited to see sea lions all around us! We got to stretch our legs and walk to our hostel where some showered before we decided we all were getting hungry! For dinner we went to a local open air spot known for empanadas. Most tried either the cheese, chicken, or seafood empanadas with the rest having salads, chicken, burgers, and kabobs for dinner. Afterwards half the group treated themselves to ice cream while the other half played on a nearby playground. All together we walked back to our hostel and joined in the park across the way for our nightly meeting. Our leaders of the day, Clementine and Bryan, picked for their positive attitudes and friendliness, asked “what is your biggest fear?”, clarifying that they did not want surface level answers which we were proud of!

For our first morning on San Cristobal we slept in an extra fifteen minutes and dined on a delicious breakfast of freshly made pancakes alongside fruit, coffee, and hot chocolate. While our group appears to not be morning people their energy level increased once we started our journey to the tortoise breeding center. We had some music bumping in the bus before we arrived to our destination. Pepo gave instructions and led us through the center where we immediately spotted some gentle giants! Bryan and Juliette vlogged our walk and we tested out some accents before we got to the enclosure where the just hatched babies are kept. Everyone was very excited to see tortoises of all sizes and to learn about how the Galápagos Islands are working to increase the population. We continued down the trail with everyone continuing to engage with our guide, and Lachlan as well as Sloane answered some questions. Our group shared many laughs and stories until we stumbled upon two turtles demonstrating how exactly the population is being increased! While this led to more laughs it was a rare moment to see and funny close out to our time with tortoises. Afterwards we had a three-minute ride to a nearby beach and we walked down to the water. Sloane and Juliette carried one surfboard while Bryan and Camden worked together to carry the other before switching with Hall and Baker. Clementine and Evie were able to ride in a big wave together and had a lot of fun splashing spring together. Norah also killed it surfing with our instructor Paolo telling her she did a great job before she went to tan on the shore. All the girls laid out for a little together before climbing up a huge rock to see the lookout spot and then were followed by the boys. With appetites worked up we headed to Paolos families restaurant where a ping pong tournament quickly ensued. Juliette played Hall in a close match before we enjoyed chicken, fish, rice, and bananas and cream. We also had the pleasure of tasting freshly squeezed juice from their farm. Afterwards the kids got into a crazy game of soccer that was originally boys versus girls but then they mixed it up. Bryan played a crazy goalie position opposite of Berlin. To continue our action packed day we then returned to town and got fitted for snorkeling gear. We walked about twenty minutes to a beautiful lagoon and suited up. As we walked up to the water we spotted a small shark, but it quickly was scared off so we didn’t get to swim with it. Berlin had her go pro at the ready and got some great footage because as soon as we jumped in we saw sea lions and sea turtles everywhere! Lachlan dove down to get close to some playful sea lions while Hall first tried to proved he was “more alpha” than the sea lion before he followed a turtle. Camden was able to hold his breath and go all the way to the bottom to look up at the sea lions. Our group stayed in the water for a long time before we decided to head back to the hostel for showers. The girls headed down to the pier to watch the sunset and the guys grabbed some snacks. Baker shared some cookies, gave out fist bumps, and let us know that he was feeling really happy – a feeling you could see was unanimous in the group based on their smiles. For dinner we had burgers, sandwiches, fajitas, and smoothies followed by an ice cream stop. Our group then returned to the playground across from our hostel where the boys got into a heated game of tag leading to lots of flushed and sweaty faces with the girls played games in a circle. Our leaders of the day Maxine and Lachlan, picked for their kindness and supportive attitudes, asked, “what is a challenge you’ve overcome?”.

Our trip has been amazing so far and we are so excited to share these moments with this special group! We will have another update and some shoutouts in a few days so check back soon!

 

<3 Georgia and Henry

 


Safe Arrival in Quito!

July 10, 2022

Hello Ecuador + Galapagos Families!

We heard from our leaders late last night that the group has landed safely in Quito. The trip is off to a great start, and we cannot wait to hear more stories from their adventure.

Please remember our leaders and students will be unplugged during their trips but we will be posting up to three trip updates throughout the next couple of weeks! This will allow you to follow along with the trip and the students will also give a special shout out mid-way through! You can also follow us on Instagram, @moondanceadventures, to see more of what we are up to this summer!

-Moondance HQ


Students

  • Maxine
  • Bryan
  • Hall
  • Juliette
  • Berlin
  • Lach
  • Norah
  • Evie
  • Camden
  • Baker
  • Clementine
  • Sloane

Staff