"Rebueno" is a fan favorite Spanish word amongst our team. A twist on the regular "bueno," it adds extra excitement to the level of goodness something possesses. Today, friends, was rebueno.
I woke up feeling yesterday's run in my legs. We all crammed into a van that is supposed to fit 17 people, maximum. Our whole team + Enrique + Daniel + Driver = 17 passengers. Though legal, we were quite squished on the hour long ride to Milagro that began far too early for my morning-rejecting self.
We went to a sports complex, an oasis rented out for us! Most of our team started out with a game of futbol, with teams divided by the campuses we go to, UG v. ESPOL. I, along with some other ladies, did not play. If it was just about any other sport, I would have been all over it, but I have already expressed to all of you my feelings about soccer.
We spent most of the day at and in the pool. You may be surprised to find out that, as nearly every member of our team can testify in a tangible way right now, that you can get burned through clouds. Then again, you may have listened to your mother all along, or perhaps you are a mother yourself, in which case you are not surprised, but rather shaking your head. But don't worry moms, because, 1. I'm just a tiny bit pink and I applied aloe and made some of my teammates do the same and 2. I'm here to tell the kids how it is, as a powerful voice of a peer influencing for good.
We swam and swam, having what may have seemed to be way too much fun for the activities in which we participated. For example, we played monkey in the middle for quite a long time, and it was the most fun I've ever had playing monkey in the middle for the whole time. We played the categories game, and you will be pleased to know that I was so sneaky that I didn't even get caught once. You also will be pleased to know that if Jason ever becomes president, you find yourself staring at a map of the country you once knew, confused by the presence of states such as "East Virginia," "Regular Virginia," and "New Kentucky." I call dibs on first governor of New Kentucky, so just get that out of your mind right now.
After we finished swimming, we went to eat at Daniel's uncle's restaurant, where they were as wonderful at preparing food as they were generous to us! And that is a lot of both wonderfulness and generosity! While we were waiting for our food, I learned how to play penny hockey and an Ecuadorian version of paper football, which is of course much more like futbol. Since I have been here, I have been eating a lot less than I do at home, but today I was HUNGRY. In Spanish, "Tengo hambre" means "I'm hungry," but directly translates to "I have hunger." So, we, being quite cultured, will often ask each other "How much hambre (pronouncing it ham-bray) do you have?" Today, I had a mountain and a half of hambre.
Therefore, I ate a mountain and a half of food. This part of this post is specifically for those of you (Dad and Dem) who have been asking about food here. We ordered family style. I partook in all kinds of wonderful seafood, fried and dipped in ketchup. The ketchup here is so much better than at home! It is pinker and runnier, and looks like something that might have actually come from a tomato. Likewise, the orange juice that we drank, and the orange juice that I drink daily on campus, is so much better than at home! It looks like cloudy lemonade with a tint of orange color, tastes like oranges, and again, appears to come directly from oranges themselves. I topped off my meal with the most flavorful rice I have ever tasted.
After dozing in and out of a contented sleep on the van ride back, I, along with many others, crashed at the hotel and slept for two hours. Since then, I have had a fun, chill evening, eating a wonderful PBJ sandwich that Ann so graciously made for me, going out to get ice cream, and exploring new parts of the malecon. I even pet a sweet little birdy. That's right, I pet a bird. In retrospect, that may not have been the most sanitary experience, but my hands have been thoroughly cleaned since then.