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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Abundance of Diversity; otherwise known as Ecuador

Diversity abounds in Ecuador. And I’m talking diversity in every sense of the word. From the people and culture to the ecosystem, diversity is everywhere. I mean where else in the world can you wake up on the Galapagos, have lunch in the Andes, and go to bed in the Amazon? I think that is what I loved most about my time in Ecuador; being able to explore the various climates and environments.

I lived in Quito. A busy, capitol city up in the Andes mountains of great historical significance (the location the French discovered and measured the equator). It is a city full of life, people and over crowded-buses. And I mean seriously over-crowded buses in which sweaty bodies pressed against you and if you didn’t use your elbows you would never be able to get off the bus at the right stop. But once you got off the buses and started to walk around, beauty surrounded you. From the Gothic style cathedral to the giant angel statue on the hill, Quito was full of wonders and rich history.

Although Quito was a wonderful place to explore, my favorite place that I visited was the Amazon. A plane ride, boat ride, bus ride, and another boat ride away, we had left the noise of cars behind and entered paradise. Through my host university, I got the chance to visit a research center in Yasuni National Park. There we were able to enjoy the natural beauty that is the Amazon. We had amazing guides that knew much about all of the flora and fauna that coexists in the rain forest.

As we walked through the trees trying not to disturb the life around us, sweating in the humidity, our guide would all of a sudden stop for what seemed to be no apparent reason. He would then proceed to pick up a lizard that I would never have spotted in a thousand years due to its perfect camouflage. Its skin the very color and texture of a leaf. Nonetheless, he had been able to spot it. He would then proceed to tell us all these various facts about the lizard; he knew more than even Wikipedia could tell me. In the two days that I spent there, I learned so much about the plants and animals. It was peaceful there and I felt that I could live there perfectly content forever. Sadly, when the weekend was up I had to return to the hustle and bustle of Quito. But luckily that only meant more time to explore other things.

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