Get ready Ecuador… I’m coming for you!

And so my Ecuadorian adventure begins…

In a few days time I leave for my gap year trip with The Leap. There’s some crazy packing and preparing going on at the moment but I thought I’d make some time to let you know what’s going on. I’m psyched to say that, over the next two and half months, I’m going to be blogging for a small group of us intrepid explorers as we head out to Ecuador.

Well, I say intrepid but I for one am terrified and, with only a few days to go before we leave, I’m pretty sure my team mates will be too. It’s the good terrified though, the ‘I’m going to be travelling around a foreign country doing crazy things like bathing in a river and snorkelling with sharks for ten weeks’ kind of terrified.

I’m twenty-one years old but due to some unfortunate health problems I’m a bit behind on the whole life experience thing. When I fully recovered I realised that, for the past few years, I hadn’t really been living, I’d been surviving so I decided it was about time I had some fun. Now, I’m sure there are a few of you out there who seek less extreme ways to have fun but I’ve always been one to ‘go big or go home’ and when I read about the trip to Ecuador run by the Leap I knew I wanted to do it.

Here’s a brief outline of our itinerary so you can decide for yourself if being a leaper takes your fancy:

  • Our first three weeks are spent with the Agato Community helping out wherever with whatever they need. The families here are kind enough to take us into their homes and I can’t wait to learn about and experience the way a community so far from my own little town in England lives.
  • After this we head out to stay with the Tsachila tribe (My first question when we get to Ecuador is going to be ‘how do you pronounce Tsachila?’) This is the part of the trip I am by far the most excited for. I read a lot of books and ever since I read Iva Ibbotson’s ‘Journey to the River Sea’ when I was ten I’ve been fascinated by tribal communities. There’s little information about the Tsachila tribe online so I hope I can convey a stay that I’m sure will be awesome (in the truest sense of the word).
  • The adventure week comes next. Ironically I think this is the week I will be most comfortable with given that my usual sports consist of wakeboarding, snowboarding and climbing.
  • Then off to the Galapagos. On the island of San Cristobal we will be helping with the conservation efforts at La Hacienda Tranquila Project.
  • Finally, we spend our last few days in the Amazon Rainforest. I feel I should point out ahead of time that I am terrified of spiders … and snakes… and a range of other creepy crawlies. So that week’s blog may contain a lot of screaming and if you ever get the chance to read my notebook version, expect very shaky writing.

So, that’s it, in a nutshell. I can’t wait to meet, and introduce you all, to my team mates. Once I’ve overcome the first hurdle of an eleven hour flight, followed by another two hour flight and made it to Ecuador, that is.


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