On Saturday, we arrived in Otavalo to begin our Spanish lessons and stay with a host family. Our family lives within the center of Otavalo, so we can walk everywhere easily. Otavalo hosts a festival the first two weeks of September, so we arrived during the tail end of it. Several bands played in the town square over the weekend and many people in indigenous dress walked about. We watched a dance contest last night, which was quite impressive. Those ladies can shake it.

The accommodations at our host family are nice. We sleep in a small bedroom on the rooftop, but have access to a bathroom and laundry facilities. They provide us breakfast, lunch, and dinner which usually consists of fresh fruit and vegetables. We are eating much more healthier here than in the US. However, I am certain Dr. Hills would gasp at what we eat. All rules for international travel are out the door with our homestay. For lunch our first day we ate a huge salad with iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and avocados with tomato juice. The next day for breakfast we ate strawberries and blackberry juice (Yum!). Chris picked up a saying of ¨in for a dime, in for a dollar¨. With the potentially hazardous food we eat, we are in for more than just a dollar! But, thus far we remain healthy.

On Sunday, our host family took us to the Cotacachi festival to see a parade, and we really enjoyed it. There were dancers from Italy, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia, Columbia, and Ecuador (of course). The costumes were impressive with their detail and bright colors. To view more photos from the festival and previous Ecaudorian adventures, visit Chris´ and Jodi´s flickr pages.

The parade lasted nearly four hours, but we left after three. The sun beating down on us made for a long, hot day. It is amazing how tired we get from just standing around in the hot sun. We were sort of relieved when our host family explained they were ready to leave as the children were tired and hungry. We will report more on our host family when we have pictures to share.

2 Responses to “Our host family and Cotacachi festival”

  1. Lyla says:

    Hello Jodi and Chris,

    Since John and I didn’t get to do a proper send off with the two of you, I wanted to let you know that we will be following you along the way. As you have mentioned, leaving friends and family is probably the hardest part… we will miss you terribly, but we look forward to learning more about our world through your eyes!

    Hey, and we may even get to meet up with you in Buenos Aires! It looks like we will probably be getting tickets for November 6th- 14th. I’ll keep you posted…

    Love to you both!

  2. John says:

    Where are you? What have you been doing? It has been over a week since your last report. Kidnapped?