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Paseo a Manabi

October 23, 2009 - Katherine Joyce
On October 17th 2009 I departed from my home city of Machala with 12 exchange students and 2 chaperones. It was a painfully joyful experience being squashed together for 6 hours anxious to meet the all the other exchange students here in Ecuador. That night we all introduced ourselves and devoured spaghetti (which was pretty excited because most of us hadn´t eaten pasta since leaving our home countries). The morning of the 18th was spent parading down the streets with everyone in their rotary blazer and waving their countries´ flag. Then we went to a Monti Cristi were the original Panama hats are made. Okay so you are probably wondering why they are called Panama hats when they are made in Ecuador. Well, here´s the story, back in the day or in the 1800s people from Ecuador went to Panama to sell their hats because there was just more people traveling through Panama compared to Ecuador. So then when anyone would ask hey where did you get that awesome hat, the buyer would just say in Panama leaving out the fact that it was actually made in Ecuador. Thus as the popularity grew they became know as Panama hats. The morning of the 19th those who were able to wake themselves up at 5:30 went to a fish market and then the rest of the day was spent in the fanaminal ocean!!! Wow the waves were just incredible and minus the sunburn, salt in my mouth and being stung by a jellyfish it was probably one of the best days of my life. The 20th we switched hotel´s and went to Portoviejo where went through the town "sight seeing", but they never told us what we were actually doing so we got all dressed up and then had this tour. Next we ate dinner at midnight and danced the morning away! It was so great to meet all the exchange students from different countries and to share how our lives here in Ecuador were playing out in our different towns.


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