|In the winter of
2012/2013 we went to Ecuador and Peru. We
kept a travel
blog of 39 posts over 120 days. The most
recent posts are at the top, and the beginning of our
winter travel at the bottom. In each entry there are
links to our photos and sometimes other explanatory
links. The photos used to be on Picasa
as slideshows with captions, but Google swallowed Picasa
and did away with all that useful functionality, so you'll
just have to swipe or click through the albums. If
you have a problem or comment, email me.
We spent two months in each country, and engaged heavily in "voluntourism" for our first time on a winter escape. We made new couchsurfing friends who hosted us in Quito, and house-sat an apartment for a lady U.S. AID worker in Quito who went home "state-side" with her daughters for Christmas and New Year's. We spent the month of January doing several kinds of volunteer work for a school foundation, including report writing on foundation projects, and teaching in the school for half days. We also assisted Rotary International and Engineers Without Borders at the same rural Andean Quechua school community. The engineers were developing their plans to embark on phase two of their potable water, irrigation and erosion control projects; we helped by recording minutes of their meetings in Spanish, translating them and typing them up for distribution in English for project supporters in the U.S. We were pleased to read the following review from our Malingua Pamba host:
"Steve and Deborah are an awesome duo! We have never had such an incredible pair and SO impactful. They transcribed and translated Water Board meeting notes for our Engineers Without Borders-Denver Chapter and Rotarian Project(s); inaugurated duo lingo.com; provided photo documentation of things needing attention which we were able to turn to our advantage; researched and reported on all of my requests; and positively impacted and improved our educational goals. They are worth their weight in gold! Sincerely, pam CEO/Founder".
For most of February and March we helped to run a B&B called Apu Lodge in Ollantaytambo in Peru, and concurrently we did some Alma Foundation reports and errands, making side trips to Machu Picchu and other significant Inca ruins, and spending some days in Cusco and Lima before we returned to Toronto at the end of March.