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“should my wife calls looking for me, tell her not to worry, but I do not want to be found… (until my placement ends that is)”

Last week, we had a new volunteer join our volunteer placement on a reserve in the cloud forest. EcuaEx provided a car and driver to the to deliver William from his hostel in Quito to his placement. Our driver, always eager to show off more of Ecuador, even did two bonus stops for William to visit Pululahua volcano and the Intiñan museum at the equator!
Though about a 2 hour drive, it’s enjoyable to take in the changing Ecuadorian landscape. The city fades away and everywhere you look you see plants, trees, and flowers- complete greenery. The ever present clouds create a slight chill, but the fresh air is irresistible and William drove with the windows down to breath it in.
After driving down a bumpy, dirt path for 20 minutes away from the main road and into the greenery, William had arrived at the pleasantly isolated yet beautifully landscaped Intillacta Reserve. William’s orientation tour allowed him to get a sense for the reserve’s layout. Nina, her local coordinator at the reserve, took William along small paths cleared through lush forest to show him his cabin, the main volunteer house and her family’s homes. She also showed him elements of the reserve’s sustainability efforts like its organic coffee plants, rainwater ponds, and their greenhouse where fruits and vegetables used for meals at the reserve are grown.
William was excited to contribute his gardening skills to the greenhouse as well as learn more about Ecuadorian plants and wildlife. As William went off to have lunch with the family, he turned with a grand smile and announced that should his wife call looking for him, tell her not to worry, but he did not want to be found… (until his placement ends that is).