I had the delightful opportunity to lead a cohort of students to the Galapagos this semester. The trip started off with a bang when we unloaded 17 people and bags at the airport, only to be told our flight had a 7 hour delay. I coordinated another bus pick-up, dropped the students off at their apartments and headed home for an hour. Because the students were expected to be traveling at this point they had no food so Nate and the kids graciously followed me on a search for restaurants open at 10am, with gluten-free, dairy-free options, able to make food for 17 in under an hour, and with a limited budget! More of a challenge in Quito than in the US but we landed on a new Mexican joint and (almost) completed the challenge. I was 10 minutes late to the bus, the lady forgot 1 of 17 lunches and the only way I made it out of there as fast as I did was because she let me come into the kitchen and help her put stuff together! (Nate took a photo since this is definitely not something that would happen in the US with Food standards.

The students were fantastic and gracious, understanding that the delay could mean missing out on a planned activity. In fact, the whole trip was full of flight delays, canceled hotel reservations, etc. All of this could have made for a terrible trip ... but with amazing attitudes the group stayed united, upbeat and just laughed with all of the changes. I will forever appreciate this particular crew for that. They were also awesome encouragers, constantly letting me know they appreciated my work and calm in the midst of it all. In the end we were able to fit all of our activities in, just in a different order and with less free time. #worthit.

Favorites from the trip ...

a new snorkeling tour, that included swimming right alongside so many sea lions (Spencer and I came almost face to face with the alpha male and I'm not gonna lie ... I was scrambling to get behind him), 5 sharks underneath us and a sea turtle

also that day the final boat ride when I sat up top under the shade and had a great conversation with a student about his faith and identity while everyone else sunbathed

watching a student who had been the most isolated throughout the semester get comfortable and ask me question after question, watching that same student run to the ocean the first time and just lay there bobbing up and down in total delight

skipping scuba in favor of a free day - wonderfully relaxing after being "on" for so long

 

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Email:  nktaube [at] yahoo.com
Skype:  nktaube
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