Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Quito, Day 2, Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quito has an elevation of 9350ft, which is quite a bit higher than Gainesville's 183 ft.  (Fargo, ND has an elevation of 900 ft interestingly.)  As a result of this, walking around Quito the first few days was quite taxing.  I had a headache for 2 days that would not go away or respond to ibuprofen at all.  Thankfully our hosts anticipated our altitude sickness and kept our first few days relaxed.

We woke up and had breakfast in our room.
This breakfast was sponsored by Nestle!
Camille relaxes in the hotel room with her bunny balloon.

Andres and Sol took us to a museum illustrating the history of Ecuador's tribes and the influence of Spain and Christianity on the country.

Interesting art outside the museum.

After the museum, we drove into the valley outside of town and ate lunch at Andres' parents' house.  Here are some photos of the trip to the valley.
Driving on brick roads

Everything is built into the side of the hill.

Narrow roads and tight squeezes along the way! 

A beautiful stream...hard to get a picture from the back seat of the car!

 As we moved farther away from the city, the landscape became more beautiful.

For some reason, stopping the car for a cow in the road is always fun!  According to Andres the man herding the cow is over 100 years old and is a fixture of the neighborhood.

From L to R: Andres, Sol, Andres' cousin, Andres' aunt
The first course was locro soup, which is a potato soup.  They put cheese (seen in center of table) and sliced avocado into the soup.  I really liked this soup.  Yum!  Everyone is drinking either wine or boysenberry juice.  Ecuador is known for their juices and we had a wide variety while there. 
The second course was a delicious broiled fish served with rice and broccoli.  I didn't take a picture of it because it looked just like what we eat in the U.S.
Waa waa de pain are special breads made especially  for all souls day (aka the Day of the Dead).  We didn't actually eat this bread for lunch.  We just looked at it.  The name waa waa comes from the sound of crying children, which is what the bread is shaped and decorated to be.  We were able to try some later in the week.

Camille enjoyed playing at Andres' home.  Andres' cousin brought his son Franco who was 4 years old.  Camille played with toys with him, but didn't quite understand that she had to speak Spanish to him.  Camille also liked to play with Andres' dog.
Camille and the dog, Leia, named for the Star Wars character.  Note:  dogs are not allowed inside the home in Ecuador.
Beautiful landscaping!

Meghan and Andres' mom check out the plants in the greenhouse.  We and our girls were treated like family!

After lunch we had to hurry to a church so that Andres and Sol could talk to the priest that would approve their marriage on Saturday.  Ken stayed in the car with sleeping Camille while Meghan and I explored the church.  The church was undergoing some renovations.

Wow!  What a fabulous statue of Christ!

Sign on the pew. (Not sure why I took this picture.)

Look at all of the flowers!  Ecuador and Colombia are the largest flower suppliers to the U.S.

While Ken was in the car, I also served as a witness and signed the marriage certificate (or some type of document like that) for Andres and Sol.  They each had to have 2 witnesses stating that they weren't already married and were genuinely getting married.  To be honest, I don't really know the details.  Everything was in Spanish.  I had to show my passport and sign on a line.  For all I know, I signed away my first born to a Spanish convent.  I am certain a priest was present :-)

After the church visit, there was a bit of stress regarding car arrangements.  Because the city of Quito has so many people, the country recently passed a law that if your license plate ended in 1 or 2 on Mondays, 3 or 4 on Tuesdays, 5 or 6 on Wednesdays, 7 or 8 on Thursdays, and 9 or 0 on Fridays, you have to keep out of the city on those days (or some sort of arrangement like that).  This reduced the traffic a bit each day, but imagine having to get around on those days!  As a result, we had to trade cars with Sol's mom who happened to be at work and then arrange transportation for her mom to get home.  Somehow it all worked out.

We next went to a shopping mall that was within walking distance of our hotel.  Their shopping malls look pretty much like ours, except that they have a ton of children's stores.

Camille has fun in a store

Waa waa de pain decorations hanging in the mall

A grocery store was in the mall so we stopped to get some groceries.

L to R Andres, Camille, Me with Meghan, Ken

Next, we went to eat dinner at a restaurant in the mall called Crepes and Waffles

So many delicious decisions!  What should we get?

Andres and Sol

Camille had a waffle topped with banana, Nutella, and ice cream with strawberry juice to drink!  We also tried mango juice and papaya juice.  All were delicious and were the amazing remedy for my altitude sickness headache!

A few random notes:  Quito has circus performers all over the place!  When your car is stopped at a red light, people stand in the crosswalks juggling or eating flames.  Of course, they are hoping for a donation when your light turns green. Stray dogs also freely roam the city.  We had to be careful that animal-lover Camille did not try to pet any of them!

We were exhausted by the end of this day and I am now exhausted at the end of my day.  Stay tuned for more Lamb adventures in Quito! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm LOVING your daily journal you are sharing with us! :) I have to comment--- I know why you took that picture of the sign on the pew! It's because so many of us (yup, me included!) use the kneeler as a footrest during Mass!!! Nick once asked me, "Do you walk on furniture in your own house or in other people's homes? Why would you in God's house?" Okay, Okay! Well, all I can say is that I didn't do it until I had little kids playing with the kneeler throughout Mass... :P
    Can't wait to hear and see more!