At my home university, for new students, they throw a little Barefoot Luau, encouraging students to participate and get to know each other poolside for a few hours, serving "mocktails," soda, and water to demonstrate ways to participate without alcohol.
Here, we went to a rather isolated hacienda in Nono, Quito, and played games (which included optional alcohol), ate, and danced. After a ten minute hike to the hacienda, we arrived a little after 10am. Although no alcohol was mandatory or suggested, the availability was quite different from the States.
|Nono, Ecuador: The view from the hacienda|
|A student trying to climb alone|
|Our team, building a tower (I'm in black)|
|This is far more difficult than it seems.|
|There's also a person below me.|
|In an effort to not fall off the pole, she fell on me.|
|Few of us had thought far enough ahead to |
figure out how to get back down
|The final group, with extra effort|
|Four tiers of students|
The next event was dizzy bat, followed by an obstacle course. Oh, this was no ordinary obstacle course! To start, take a (optional) shot of booze, followed by the tire run like football players, followed by another optional shot, followed by an army crawl, followed by another optional shot, finishing with a giant slip'n'slide. Despite the chilly weather and the constant mist, many of us dove down the soapy slide without a second thought.
|Obstacle course competitors. It's not warmer that it looks.|
After the games, we had a delicious lunch, full of food that involved potatoes (my favorite). Then we did a bit of dancing before making the ride back to Quito.
A bit different from the welcome party back home, don't you think?