We were treated to more warm hospitality at Maria's house. This time, the girls went all out for breakfast (eggs, fresh rolls, butter & jam, cheese, mandarins, fresh orange juice and a special drink), which was delish and featured a new taste for us: Colada de avena con maracuya/colada de Guayaquil! This is an Ecuadorian oatmeal drink with fruit and we had it warm in the morning. Absolutely lovely. If you click on colada de avena above, it gives you instructions on how to make it. Getting naranjilla or maracuya maybe a bit difficult in small town Canada or USA, but mangoes and pineapples are easy to find and would make a tasty substitute.
|Maracuya (Passion fruit)|
|Breakfast in the works. Tisane to drink, hard boiled eggs, & colada de avena con maracuya (oatmeal drink).|
|Panchi straining the colada de Guayaquil|
|Yummy breakfast! (I've got my trusty notebook out to take down how to make this delightful colada!)|
|Three sleepy sisters|
|Not completely awake yet!|
Nikki came and got us at 9am and with our expert tourguide & guard, Jay, we walked around Bastion to take in some of the amazing physical changes in the area.
|Nikki explaining that the physical improvements are only so far into Bastion, back further in and up that hill, things are still very under-developed.|
After our quick tour we headed over to the school to be there for "recreo" (recess). Something that hasn't changed in Bastion Popular is how cute the kids are and how much they like to be photographed!
|The snack ladies|
|Juice & snack folks|
|Felipe, lots of older grade students, us & Willian, the VP|
|Panchi, Maria's older sister and one of the school's first graduates, is currently studying at University to get her teaching degree and does some special ed with the younger kids at Hope of Bastion school.|
|Felipe & Rolando, two familiar faces from our trip 10 years ago. Both very involved in the Bastion church and school.|
I want to let you know that there are still children available for sponsorship from Hope of Bastion school. Please contact me (I have a few profiles for the next week or two) or contact Nikki and/or Becky at info(at)sponsorhope(dot)ca.
We went back to Maria's house and we were treated to another wonderful meal, this time one of my Ecuadorian favorites "Seco de Pollo" If you read Spanish, here's the recipe I've used at home. If you don't read Spanish, here's another one, but I've never made it, and the Spanish-language recipe above doesn't include beer. They served it with rice, an avocado salad & fruit juice.
Nikki took us to the bus station to begin our next adventure. A trip to Baños (de Santa Agua) with Maria and one of her cousins as a vacation/celebration of how far she has come in her schooling. We bought tickets for our bus trip, but there weren't any direct buses at a reasonable time, so we took a bus (5.5 hours) to Ambato and then caught another one to Baños. Which was quite an adventure, because we weren't exactly sure where to catch said bus. Thankfully, we had our Spanish speaking sponsored daughter and her cousin with us and we figured it out and caught the bus to Baños just as it was pulling away. An hour on that bus and we arrived in Baños.
|Two happy campers! We got to watch more movies in Spanish. One that I can't recommend and one that I'd watch again in English "Jack, the Giant Killer"|
|Leaving the coastal area|
|Banana plantation (I think)|
|Lots of curves on this road!|
|Higher into the mountains|
We found a place with lots of people eating and figured that was a good sign, but many of them seemed to be related and they all left at the same time.
Maria had the churrasco. This dish features grilled steak that is seasoned with chimichurri, it is typically served with plantains, white rice, French fries, a fried egg, and slices of avocado. It was a massive plate of food:
|My meal was Carne Empanado. I like to think of it as Chicken-Fried Steak! (note the Canadianism on the top left side of the plate)|
|Dee's meal was the smallest of the lot. She had the Pica Pollo. With Mora (blackberry) juice.|
We headed back to the hotel and slept well after a very full day!