So on Monday morning we loaded our bags with the gamut of picnic necessities- from watermelon salad and tiny sandwiches, to sparkling grape juice and even chocolate, and we headed for the Pululahua National Park, about an hour and a half drive from the Manna Ecuador HQ. Pululahua is a relatively small, inactive volcano nestled in amongst the Ecuadorean-Andean volcano chain that we have come to call home in this last year. The primary hike, which we chose, is a 40 minute steep downward hill hike into a tiny valley which is actually the volcano's crater.
the Pululahua crater
There, in an open field of a volcanic crater, we set up our picnic of sundries and got to work on our last development discussion. This retreat we discussed the various aspects of how to launch a successful job campaign, how to write an "elevator pitch" and how to cope with the re-adjustment of life back in the states. After a couple of hours of some serious (a little too serious...) life decision/direction discussion, a visit from a park ranger who was convinced our sparkling apple juice was alcoholic, and some playful picture taking, we decided to commence our ascent. This time we were laden not with snacks, but with heavy hearts as our last group retreat came to a close, and the afternoon clouds came rolling down the mountainside.