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  • Writer's pictureDan English

Capstone Project Day 36

Today we had our first casualty. Allison took a big tumble near the bottom of the Quilatoa trail. We left early in the morning to meet a van our host family had booked for us. Alejandro and Sofía joined the excursion. After about a three-hour drive, we arrived. It was wet and so very cold at the volcano. Once we started hiking, the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. Crystal blue water fills the caldera of the Quilatoa volcano and lush greenery lines on the sides of the mountain. The sun is quite intense here. We’re on the Equator and there’s less atmosphere above us for protection at 8,000 meters. Austin got sunburned. I met another llama.

Near the bottom of the trail, Allison slipped on some loose gravel. She was hurt with a twisted ankle and a sprained wrist. We got her to the bottom slowly and painfully.

Sofía and Alejandro went to get help and returned with a horse owner. He originally offered a ride up the caldera for $10. Once he saw the predicament Allison was in, he increased the price to $30. He said some very unsavory things to Allison and Maddie, and that’s when I got angry. I don’t often get very upset. But this man insulted my friends and tried to take advantage of a person in need. By this time a whole crowd had gathered shaming the man. I was fuming and saying things I now regret.

Sofía and Alejandro had cooler heads. They were able to convince other horse owners that jacking up the price would reflect poorly on their community. Alejandro knows the right buttons to push with the native communities.

Sofía drove us afterward to a private hospital near our house. Doctors at Hospital de Los Valles fixed Allison up with a boot and a cast. She even got some cool Xrays.

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