F E AT UR E I’m wearing dirty, damp clothes, and I have almost no contact with the outside world. At the same time, it is the most peaceful place that I have ever been to.
This trip has been the best nature experience that I have ever had. We have visited places with the most amazing wildlife and food. We’ve seen many unique species of birds, spiders, insects, and snakes. Another cool part of this trip is that we are completely disconnected from the outside world since there is not any cell or internet service, and the nearest town is six hours away by boat only. Being isolated from social media and the internet is great because I am focusing on what is in front of me instead of other people’s lives. For me, Shiripuno has been a place of contradiction. The physical conditions here are the most intense that I have ever experienced. It rains for hours or even days. I’m wearing dirty, damp clothes, and I have almost no contact with the outside world. At the same time, it is the most peaceful place that I have ever been to. I am totally immersed in nature, with no worries or thoughts about what is going on elsewhere, and I am very focused on what is going on in my vicinity. I have never been so relaxed or calm in my life. I can also feel myself getting stronger; I no longer fear spiders and insects nearly as much as I used to. Finally, I have been practicing my Spanish by talking to the Huaorani tribesmen who work here, and it has been a great experience. It’s very cool hearing their perspectives on the world and using the Spanish I learned in high school. There is something very special about getting into true wilderness. Shiripuno will always have a special place in my heart. mark feinberg water, resources, policy
college of natural resources and environment
My personal favorite food from Ecuador is the bananas. I’ve found them much more flavorful than those in the USA. One of the main experiences of traveling abroad is trying new foods. Ecuador is a Latin American country, and staples such as plantains, rice, and beans are common in meals. Another big staple for Ecuador is yucca or manioc. Yucca is a new food for me that I have really enjoyed. Three course meals are common here and typically start with a soup and end with a dessert. The desserts are usually fruit based. A common fruit used in desserts is the tree tomato. Breakfast normally comes with fruit as well as fruit juice. The fruit juices here are exotic compared to what we drink in the USA. Some of my favorite are blackberry juice, pineapple juice, and passion fruit juice. Another popular Ecuadorian drink that I got to try is an oat-based drink called Quaker that consists of oats blended with milk. Unlike in the USA, the main meal in Ecuador is lunch rather than dinner. It’s the biggest meal, and people plan their day around it. My personal favorite food from Ecuador is the bananas. I’ve found them much more flavorful than those in the USA. Bananas with chocolate sauce was definitely the best combination that I tried while in Ecuador. leah perdue
biological sciences, college of science