Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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the dirty south

In my last entry i wrote about some general conclusions I’ve reached during my time here. Now ill recount a few of the tales of my adventures here.

I’ve defiantly made an effort to travel as much as I possibly can here. I believe I have visited every eco-system in Ecuador. One of the first epic adventures was a jungle volcano named Sumaco. The volcano itself was not all that tall but when you consider the fact that we had to back pack two days into the dense rain/cloud forest to reach it, the tale is a bit more epic. You can see plenty of pictures of that on my facebook thanks to my compadres Max and Conor. This was probably my favorite trip I have gone on because there was no shortage of plants, a huge shortage of money (we had to pay the guide using boots, machetes, and the rest of my coco leaves) and a ton of mud. The summit was a bit cloudy, but the volcano crater was beautiful and so worth every minute of suffering. The final day we faced the fact that we really did not have enough money (or gifts) to pay the guide with so we told him we wanted to leave that night. We ended up hiking approximately 16 miles out of the jungle that day. A good three miles of that was by only headlamp and one of those lovely miles was through a creek. Sorry I am done with my bitching.

Another interesting and almost equally dirty adventure that has occurred was the attempt a climbing Chimborazo, Ecuador’s tallest mountain.  Two weeks before I summited Cotopaxi and so I must say although I went into it very scared, I was probably a bit cocky. To make a long story short (and in case my parents discover I have a blog and read this) I will spare some of the details but I got nailed in the eye with a rock and got a concussion about a third of the way up the mountain. Obviously one cannot really continue climbing with this for many reasons. If you don’t know them, just take my word for it. Anyways, we didn’t have sleeping gear because we were planning on climbing the mountain at night. What does this all mean? One of the coldest headaches I have ever had.

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