I couldn't sleep because of swear-in excitement (or anxiety), and at about 12:30 a.m. I got an email from my dad saying that my mom's going into surgery in the morning for a hernia. It turns out she's had it for a while but kept it a secret from me so I wouldn't worry. I'm not a fan of this approach.
The surgery went fine and she's resting now, but it was a tense morning for me. I dealt with an angry stomach all day because of this and the impending swear-in event. Peace Corps Ecuador took us on a cultural trip to the historical center of Quito, which felt just like Europe for obvious reasons. I think one of my favorite parts of the trip was discovering a tiny cafe where they actually pull real espresso shots.
Our final stop was the Basilica del Voto Nacional, an enormous structure (the largest basilica in the New World) that permits you to climb to the top of the towers after paying a fee of $2. It was wildly fun - especially climbing up thin metal rungs with vast vacancies below.
Indigenous women were outside selling scarves, 2 for $5. I wanted to try out my Quichua so I tried and they actually understood me and responded. I spoke Quichua!
Training ended early today, for good. I mailed a letter to the U.S. ($2) and went home to pack. It's taken me hours, too, including cleaning. I can't stay up any longer.
Tomorrow's the day. We'll be sworn in as Peace Corps Volunteers and depart for our sites. I'm on the 10:30 a.m. bus, so there's no rest or mingling for me. It's all rush, rush rush. Quite nervous now.