Sirens, Horns and Roosters.
Arrived in Quito, Ecuador, during the early hours of April 27th; just in time for Noah’s birthday. We stayed with a host family, Olga and Marcello, for the next two weeks. When we arrived it was so late and dark that we didn’t see much during the hour long drive to our new temporary home.
We woke late on Sunday morning and got our first sight of Quito. Looking out our bedroom window we got our first look at Quito. First impressions . . . busy, dirty and noisy. Not very positive adjectives, but we were excited for our time in Quito. We had our breakfast, the same as we would have every morning, scrambled eggs, bread or buns, fresh juice and instant coffee.
Unfortunately, due to the high latitude, we weren’t up to doing much to celebrate Noah’s 13th birthday. We took a cab to a local mall and walked around. Like I said, not to exciting. When we returned home for supper, Olga, our host, has made Noah a birthday cake that everyone got to enjoy. We all sang Happy Birthday in English and Spanish.
Every day from 9am to 1pm we took Spanish lessons through Chritobal Colon Spanish School. We all received one-on-one instruction. The kids did amazing. We are so proud of them. They enjoyed their teachers and learning Spanish. Now Noah wants to become fluent in Spanish. In the afternoons we did banking, sightseeing or eating (usually ice cream).
Highlights of our stay in Quito would have to include the day trip to Ortivalo (indigenous market, volcanic lake, and hike to waterfall); the Equator; visiting the old town (climbing clock tower).
To sum up our experience I thought it would be fun to hear from everyone; so I asked each one the following questions.
What is your favorite food/meal?
Noah: Spaghetti on the last day at Olga’s
Aurora: all of Olga’s soups
Len: Olga’s avocado soup
Roxanne: Almost anything Olga made for us.
What do you like the most about Quito?
Noah: There were mountains everywhere you looked
Aurora: it’s beautiful and old
Len: the artistic old architecture
Roxanne: the hidden gems. Quito has so many wonderful treasures. I loved walking around the city.
What do you like the least about Quito?
Noah: it was colder than expected
Len: the constant traffic and honking
Roxanne: the noise pollution and having to buy toilet paper before using the bathroom
What have you learned that you are proud of?
Noah: uh, like an 1/8 of a new language
Aurora: a bit of Spanish
Len: the ability to communicate in basic Spanish
Roxanne: a few more Spanish words
What do you miss about home the most?
Noah: my buddies
Len: having my own space/room
Roxanne: my car and the freedom that comes with that; and space.
What is the most interesting thing that you’ve seen?
Noah: street jugglers
Aurora: everyone spoke Spanish
Len: the street corner stuff/entertaining things; and how people sell things in traffic
Roxanne: people walking the streets selling everything from lottery tickets to brooms to shoe laces, and how the flow of water changes at the equator.
What is the craziest thing you saw or heard?
Noah: the small child running around selling water in busy traffic
Aurora: everything looks normal to me.
Len: the high speed crazy drivers
Roxanne: the toilet paper truck that drives around selling toilet paper. What ever happened to the milkman?
Lesson Learned: Take your passport with you when you visit the Equator, that way ou can get it stamped.
We all loved our time in Quito and wished we would stay longer. I think we will fall in love with all the cities we visit and wished we had more time to spend in them. But we also look forward to our next stop.