Week 4: Part 2 - A Generous Taste of Ecuador!

August 2, 2018
Hola todos! Hope you are having a great week, I know I am! I am still volunteering in the Pablo Arturo Suarez hospital, and this week I have changed to the department of endoscopy. So far, I have enjoyed it a lot. All of the employees have been very welcoming and they have a lot of things for the volunteers to do. I have taken vital signs, assisted with procedures, and helped with other smaller tasks that are needed throughout the week.
Yesterday I was talking to some of the nurses and they were asking me about the places I have visited during my time in Ecuador. I told them I wanted to return to visit Galapagos, and they proceeded to offer me their homes the next time I came. It sort of shocked me to get such a kind offer, and I didn’t know what to say! Although there are many kind people in the US, I don’t feel like most people would offer their home to someone who is practically a stranger! It was so kind, and it was such a good example of the culture here. People care for one another and have so much love! They are generous and genuine, and I truly felt that the nurses meant what they said. It was just one more small thing that has made me fall in love with Ecuador even more.
Inside Cafecito, a coffee shopAfter the hospital, me and my friend decided to go to the market (Mercado Santa Clara) and try something new. We ate a dish called hornado, made from an entire pig that gets roasted all at once. It was served with mashed potatoes, chicharron, avocado, and pico de gallo. It was probably the best thing I have eaten here in Ecuador, just thinking about it now is making my mouth water! We also got some pan de yuca, a delicious bread made out of cassava, a South American shrub. Because we were at the market, we couldn’t resist buying the best fruit ever, the granadilla, and we sat in a park and ate our delicious granadillas! After that, we went to Cafecito, a highly recommended coffee shop. It was very hipster, filled with books and and cute decorations. The coffee was great too!
This seems to be the week for delicious food. Last night, my host mother brought a bunch of us to this park that has a bunch of food stands. She wanted us to try some more typical Ecuadorian food- like cow intestines! We walked up to a stand, and the chef gave us a ton of free intestines to try, so we didn’t even have to buy any! It was yet another example of the generosity and kindness I have seen here from the Ecuadorian people. And despite sounding gross, the intestines were actually super tasty, and they were cooked on a sizzling fire which gave them a nice char taste as well. If you ever get the chance to try cow intestines, do it! After that, we got some delicious empanadas and morocho. Morocho is a traditional Ecuadorian drink (almost pudding) made from milk, cinnamon, raisins, and morocho (a type of corn that looks and tastes like rice to me). It was served hot and we ate it with a spoon. It was a very unique taste and I would definitely get it again if I had the chance!
Anyways, I hope you enjoyed hearing about all of the tasty food I tried! Even though I am eating like a king, I am missing pizza quite a bit… guess I will have to wait until I get back! Either way, no matter where I am, you can always find me trying to eat something tasty! Also, my next blog is my last one! If you have read all of my blogs up until now, thank you! I am proud of you for sticking with me until the end! Until next time!

Catch up on Monika's previous Ecuador blog post - you'll love it!

Week 4: Part 1 - The Complete Quito Experience!