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I went to Chugchilán this past week, to do some hiking and visit some Quechua villages, hoping to get an idea for the care of orphans in rural/indigenous areas as I had done in Uttarakhand in India. It was lovely, though a bit cold and foggy in the later parts of the day. I didn’t meet any orphans, but the villages are insular and children with parents who are dead, sick, in rehabilitation, or otherwise incapacitated, are cared for within the community. Correa, Ecuador’s president, studied in one of the plateau villages I hiked through – so I engaged in some lively and passionate political discussions, too. (Elections were just a few weeks ago.) Unrelated, I’ve been forced to start wearing a watch I got for $2 in Loja’s Terminal Terrestre while waiting for a bus to Cuenca because I lost my phone while hiking in Vilcabamba.


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