Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Since then...

A lot has happened since the last post. We went to a place called Banos which was a spa, El chorro a waterfall, Carnaval, Turi, El Cajas, saw the US Ambassador and are now getting ready to go to the Galapagos. Well, we hope Jenny can.


Banos is a small city about 15 minutes outside of Cuenca. Volcanoes there produce hot springs. We decided to go there one day after class and settled on a spa named Piedra de Agua. We relaxed in mineral hot springs of varying temperatures which was very soothing.

El Chorro and the Hacienda

El Chorro is a beautiful, majestic waterfall in the mountain. We climbed around and behind it. It was very wet but super fun.

After the waterfall we went further up in the mountains to a place called the Hacienda. There we had lunch and walked around the property which was full or fruit trees and coffee beans. Jenny watched the process of coffee making and while Ariel climbed a nearby mango tree. Jenny had three cups of coffee because both Ariel and Gracia hate coffee. The mangoes were great!


Don’t mistake the name for the carnival we think of. The rides and your average elephant ears or the crazy street parties in Brazil or the Caribbean. We had a few days off classes so both Ariel and Jenny’s families went to the coast. We had a nice time of relaxing and chilling at the beach. Although Jenny came out with a huge sunburn. Ariel’s family left a little earlier, but Jenny went with the rest of the students to a celebration in Cuenca where they have dancing, a concert, and a lot of carioca! Carioca is a soap that they have spray cans of and they spray anyone and everyone. It was crazy, but an interesting cultural experience.

The Ambassador

We met the Ambassador of the US in Ecuador. He came to the church and talked to us for a bit about what he does and how we can get involved in government service. He is a pretty nice guy!


Turi is a place that for one has a lot of stairs but also overlooks the city. We went on a swing that swings you over a ledge towards the city. It was insane. Talk about adrenaline rush! We both did it and had an awesome time! Afterwards we got ice cream.

El Cajas

El Cajas is a national park in the mountains. We took a hike for about 3 hours but felt like forever. Jenny was dying the entire way while Ariel mostly saw stars while attempting keep Jenny alive. The views were amazing! The walk on the other hand was not. Ariel did eat some pretty good fish afterwards. Jenny drank tea because she was still dying.

Jenny and the Medical Field

After Cajas Jenny was rushed to the hospital where we found out she had appendicitis. She was rushed into surgery and had an operation. An hour later Ariel, Dr. Habecker and MaryLou as well as other students came to greet her with smiling faces. She looked great although a little red. We tried to not make her laugh too much, but of course that didn’t happen. Overall she is recovering well and has left the hospital. So no worries we are not coming back 1 chemistry major short. Also, Ariel’s Jenny pack could not have stopped that.


Classes are going well. Our Spanish is a whole lot better. The physiology labs are fun. We learned how to draw blood, take blood pressures and preform an EKG. Jenny could have probably preformed her own operation but we did not let that happen.

We will update you after the Galapagos!

Check Facebook for more pictures.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Quito, Cuenca, and classes


So last time you heard from us we were in the airport. So much has happened since then! In Quito our first day was spent hiking, kayaking, and riding a mule in a volcano called Quilotoa. The lake there is a caldera because it erupted once and the top caved in to make a crater type shape. It is 11,000 ft above sea level and the lake is 900ft below the top. AKA breathing is hard.

                                                     Animal crackers are the best snack!

                                         View of the top where we had to climb down from...
                                                              The lake in the volcano
Kayaking on the lake

Day 2 of Ecuador we walked around Quito and visited different museums, churches, and historical sites. We also visited the Equator!! On the equator we experimented with water, eggs, and our bodies to show the Coriolis effect. That night we went to a "ballet" which entailed folklore dances.

                                                                       The "ballet"
                                       Ariel eating the world while standing in the middle of it
                                           The balcony of their equivalent to the White House
                                     An important statue in Ecuador of a virgin with wings
                                                            Inside one of the churches

Jenny at the equator


After having so much fun in Quito we got up a 2 a.m. We flew to Cuenca and got picked up by our host families. The first day we slept in the morning and then met with Maria de Lourdes (our go to person here) at the church, got some introductions, and a toured the church. On Friday we visited UDA, which is a local university that a couple of our classes are through, as well as the med school where we met our physiology professor and saw a brain (Jenny liked it, Ariel didn't...). Then we went on a city tour where we saw the largest Cathedral in Ecuador and climbed to the top of it (155 steps!! And once again we couldn't breathe). We also toured the hospital where our practicum will be.

Us and Carlos on top of the Cathedral

Weekends were spent with our host families. Ariel went to a place called Turi, which overlooks the city of Cuenca. It was beautiful! Jenny spent most of the weekend at extended families houses talking and playing games. We all went to Church on Sunday at Verbo, but it was hard to understand much of what was said.

                                                           Ariel and her sister at Turi

On Monday we were greeted by a Spanish placement exam that left us all feeling like we knew nothing! To our surprise We both made it into the intermediate class. We also got to hang out with the Habeckers who are here in Cuenca for 6 weeks. After that was our first dance class! Dance class was very interesting. Ariel of course had no trouble and compared to the guys Jenny did really well. The guys... well you know. Then we went home for lunch until getting picked up again for physiology. We basically spent 2 hours talking about the syllabus and many, many, bunny trials. The professor is really nice though and his stories are interesting.

Today we had our first actual Spanish class, which went surprisingly well since it was taught completely in Spanish. (We learned that there are 4 ways to say pig). Right now we are waiting to go have lunch with Dr. Moore and then we have our first History class.

We will keep you updated :)

Monday, January 30, 2017

We're halfway there!!

So far we have been up for a total of 11 hours and 11 min. Ariel is tired and Jenny has had 2 coffee's. Currently we are in Atlanta awaiting a 6 hour flight to Quito :/  The whole gang is here and even though we look a little like zombies, we are super excited.

Hope ya'll (Dr. Magers voice)are enjoying the snow ;)  Also here are a couple "fun" displays that we are currently seeing.

We miss you guys! More updates to come :) Try not to blow up the stockroom while we are gone!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Murder Mystery - ACS National Chemistry Week Solving Mysteries Through Chemistry

Taylor University's ACS Student Chapter has designed a murder mystery for students to solve as part of National Chemistry Week.  For three days a new clue will be provided for students to help them figure out the mystery.  The first clue was balancing a redox reaction.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Elanco Representatives Present to TU Students about Careers inIndustrial Chemistry

Two representatives from Elanco, Richard White and recent Taylor graduate Nathan Pavey ('16), shared with our undergraduates about what it is like to work as an industrial chemist and about their summer internship program.  As a TU undergrad, Nathan had interned at Elanco and was later offered a full time job after graduation.  Start thinking about summer internships now!  Thank you to Elanco for supplying the food for the event and sharing a valuable perspective on industrial careers with our students.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Annual Department Tailgate

The Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry met for our annual tailgate party.  Lots of classic tailgating fair and games.  It was a great chance for us all to get to know our new students.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Congratulations Graduates!

Saturday was a beautiful day for a graduation.  President Habecker was the commencement speaker.  He challenged us to not only look for new experiences with God in our transitions, but to grow our understanding of God through our transitions.
Congratulations to our graduates.  We are proud of you!