Wednesday 5th November
Oh what a day! We woke early 6:15 and cranked through breakfast which was a toad-in-the-hole. School was good, tried “don’t worry be happy” song which was the first time I saw the students engaged for more than 60 minutes.
Did a private lesson with Mathilde, which proved fantastic. She really wants to learn, and I am convinced this contributes for longer term. The discussion also gave me interesting background into island life.
We get stunning news from Jorge (person from the volunteering org in Quito). Though we had non-changeable tickets, he has made it possible to change TAME flights to Lima (we made booking error) avoiding huge potential costs.
But it gets better!
We meet a Vietnamese girl who stays next door. She mentions she will be back in Vietnam for their New Year, which is right around the time we will be there (mid February). She studied in the USA, living in North, mid and South California and tells us to reach out once we are in Vietnam.
No really hold on, it gets way better. . .
We have dinner in the highlands (friends via Alicia and the school where Heidi teaches); Yvette picks us up (extremely friendly, chatting all the way up to the highlands).
We are stunned upon arrival. As we drive up to an oasis unseen before on the island. Before us is a restaurant, surrounded by lush gardens and some guest rooms. The restaurant must be good for a seating of 55-60 people, and has a full (inox) professional kitchen. Bert is a retired chef cook.
All the tables are dressed, candles lit; one Central table with 6 settings (glasses, silverware for 3 courses, two types of home made bread rolls on little plates). After a quick scan of the garden and admiration of the view over the landscape we settle at the bar (which is also handmade by Bert) with a glass of excellent white Chilean wine.
Bert cooks and partially joins us at the dinner table as we dive into the fresh vegetables which we so crave. I find myself in heaven. Listening to Yvette, joking with Michelle and hearing Bert’s views. All the MasterCard commercial: Priceless!
Just after 10pm we leave, meaning Bert drives us down the mountain. We see the first owl on their rooftop, but end up seeing many more on the way down. Like the night-herons we encounter, they are not afraid, and at one moment we come to a complete stop as Bert has to switch his lights on and off several times to convince the birds it might be smart to get off the road.
Overall an unforgettable evening. This one will be hard to beat!