Next! Today we all migrated west to Quito to visit the Peace Corps office. The journey involves a bus to Quito, a bus to a bus station, another bus somewhere else...etc. We made it with the help of our language group facilitators and went on a grand tour of the place. The best part was visiting the NRC director's office, where there is a map of pins designating previous omnibus volunteer locations, and pink pins that designate sites where our omnibus will go - it was here that I suddenly got a revelation that I knew where I wanted to go. A pink pin sat right near the slopes of the perpetually erupting Sangay volcano in the Oriente/Sierra border. Another pink pin was nearby. I know, I'm flexible and will go wherever they send me because that's what I originally agreed to when I came here. But having a site right on Ecuador's most active volcano? Yes, please! I'm so eager to find out where I'm going, but I'm trying to wait without reservations or expectations.
It took a long time to get back to Tumbaco, and when we finally made it, our language group only had a little time to start thinking about making a community map from the town center to my host family's house. I randomly ran into Paola yesterday while walking through the town center (which is bustling and active in the afternoon), so she took me around on a paseo to point out important places like health centers, schools, churches, a *vegetarian restaurant*, etc.
Speaking of vegetarian...I feel really lucky to be with my Ecuadorian host family. They completely understand and respect my decision to be a vegetarian, and all my meals have been problem-free. They're always great meals, but sometimes they're spectacular. The other day, Paola made me a tofu dinner (from a bag of dried tofu). I had to ask three times, tofu?! No way! This morning, I had toast with a slice of queso and tomato on top. I had two and wanted so many more! Yuuuum. They also tolerate my completely random homework questions like, "What are three Ecuadorian words for 'friend'?" or "What is the name of the municipio administrator?" (no one seems to know).