3. Ecuador Adventures and Frogs – Villa daFiore and Tumbaco Part II

Group of travelers poses on the steps outside Villa daFiore

Thursday, June 8th, Getting to know you

All of the schools in the Tumbaco area are centralized, within a few blocks of each other.  The geopolitical consequence of this is that children at a distance, poorer, or in a small barrio without transportation, do not get to go to school.  The massing of buildings and children results in an hour or more of streets jammed with children of all ages pouring out of their classrooms, as well as with the parents or guardians waiting for them.  Groups of students were wearing different kinds of uniforms, but each was a visible symbol of their school and/or grade.

The younger child, Kelly, came out first. She hesitated for a long time before answering the standard name question, so I wondered if she made that up.

The older girl, Rosemary, was the almost last one to come out, but in the meantime, I met Samuel.  He came right up to me and asked me what I had in my hand.  It was my cell phone, so I asked him if he wanted me to take a picture with it. He said yes, and after posing for nanoseconds, he ran off.

At 6 o’clock, The Save the Frogs Ecuador group gathered in the dining room for introductions, and all sounded like really interesting people, whom I appreciated more each day, as you will learn in future postings.  

We left the next morning after breakfast, but before we did, Melvin took the group photo below, and then ran to get into the picture at the far left. 

Photo Credit, Melvin Grey

Patricio, in the middle of the back row is personable, energetic, works day and night, and bent over backwards to make sure we all were accommodated, at breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between. The location seems a non sequitur, but the grounds are lovely and the food is good.  Villa daFiore gets five stars in my book!

It is my prayer for Mirabella that people go by and love on her, as I asked Kelly and Rosemary to do. But if they do, Mirabella might be even sadder when they grow up and spend less time on the grounds. It’s a really hard thing to figure out.

From Kerry Kriger:   “In May 2017, Stephanie Steelman won a free SAVE THE FROGS! Ecotour through our once in a lifetime Ecotour Sweepstakes.”  Here is an excerpt from what Stephanie had to say about the trip:
“Michael and Chelsea were organized, had a great deal of biological and logistical knowledge in navigating the country, and are wonderfully smart and funny people to be around. They have a grace and organizational capacity beyond their years (I can’t believe Chelsea is only 25, oh man.) I also liked how they connected the group with local guides who had a great deal of indigenous and biological knowledge specific to each region we traveled to… I’m a true convert.”

Watch for your own opportunities to travel with us!