My first day in Quito was an unexpectedly adventurous one, thanks to my host family. By the way, they speak no English, so when the mother of the family came and sat on my bed at 8 a.m. my first day living in her house, I was a little terrified (and happy I had decent clothes on). She said in broken English I should come with her, as she was driving another person around Quito. I said, “Si.”
That is about as much Spanish as I know.
After I quickly changed, washed my jet lagged face, we were out the door in about 20 minutes. I didn’t know, but the bottom of my house is also another apartment, where more family live as well as another volunteer in my program. I am so thankful for this girl, as she is French and speaks English and Spanish. A savior for me with this Ecuadorian family.
I really should have done more research before this trip, because we ended up taking a nice drive around crazy, crowded, dirty, historic, beautiful Quito. Our first stop was El Panecillo and the Virgin de Quito which sits at the top of the hill. It has incredible views of all of Quito, and is quite marvelous herself. You can see this giant statue from almost anywhere, as she watches over the city.
Next we went to the “center of the world,” according to GPS. It was fun to see something touristy among all the little shops and street vendors.
Katarina and Xeneb (the live downstairs) + me and my host mother, Sudy.
Just walking on the Equator. No big deal.
Last, we went up a huge cable car called the Teleferico to the top of one of the many mountains surrounding Quito. Yes this city is in the Andes, and I can feel the altitude with every hill I walk. When you are at the top of the Teleferico, you can see ALL of Quito and the many volcanoes that surround it.
a brief moment of sunlight.
I can’t believe I am really here!