First Post From Quito, Ecuador

Trip Start Aug 23, 2006
1
6
27
Trip End Dec 23, 2006


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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, September 26, 2006

So...after a few days in Quito, hereīs what Iīve learned and/or experienced:

1) My host "family" is great. I put family in quotes becauseīitīs really just a single women not an entire family. Now before you start "OOOHING" and ÄHHING" (Step, this means you), relax...it is so, so not even close to being like that. Her name is Inez, sheīs a 34 year old Lawyer and recently divorced. He boyfriend is there all the time and heīs a lawyer as well...his name is Edison. She has a 4 room apartment in a great location in Quito (15 minute walk to school) and there are a couple other students staying at her place. One of my house mates is a Norweigen guy named Stein who seems pretty cool...the other is Diana and sheīs been out travelling since I arrived. Anyway..itīs great that Stein, Diana and myself have Inez as our host family as Iīve talked to a couple other students who have older couples or single people...Inez is closer to our own age, likes to drink cerveza and is a mean cook.

2) Less than 12 hours after arriving into Quito (Sunday morning), one of Inezīs friends (Juan) offers to show me around the show me the best way to get to my school. Juan is a good guy and speaks better English than Inez so it was nice to have him help me acclimate to the new country. Anyway, he says Sunday is a great day to go see the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the World) and the next thing I know, Juan is throwing me aboard a bus bound for god knows where and waving "Adios" to me as I sped off. Being new to the country and not speaking the language, I first wanted to get the lay of the land and better understand the public transportation system before starting to venture outside the city limits. "Nonsense" says Juan...and Iīm on my way. One confusing bus connection, 1 hour and 40 cents later, Iīm at Mitad del Mundo....Latitude 0....the equator (from which Ecuador getīt itīs name. Itīs a fairly big deal in Ecuador and theyīve created quite the tourist attraction for it. The funny thing is...their attraction and their line is in the wrong place. You see the French (silly French) came down to Ecuador in 1736 and told everyone, this is it...hereīs the center of the earth. A few hundred years later some Americans equipped with that great American invention GPS told everyone the equator is about 300 meters north of where the French said it was. So...a second tourist attraction has been built around it and itīs much more interesting than the fake equator. Here you can see some crazy experiments that you can perform no place other than the center of the earth...for example, balancing an egg on the head of a nail (which I was the only one in our group who could master such a feat...booyakasha respekt!), and watching water change directions in how it drains by moving a basin less than 5 meters (counter clockwise in the north, clockwise in the south). Very cool stuff.

3) Learning a new language is going to test the limits of my mental capacity. Granted itīs still my first week...but I am most definitely struggling. I have no problem memorizing verbs and the vocabulary...but trying to piece it all together is a completely different thing. Hopefully my old brain can handle it...Iīm a little worried that Iīve destroyed way, way too many brain cells and my synapses arenīt firing like they used to. Even if I do learn the language...Iīll never be able to roll my Rīs.

4) Ecuadoring beer is bueno.

5) When climbing to the top of a basilica in Ecuador...they do mean the TOP. I went with Stein and his professor and we literally climbed to the top of the tallest tower and then our guide asked us if we wanted to walk around outside...thereīs no guard rail.

Attached are a few pics...enjoy. All is bueno is Ecaudor.

B.
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Comments

tamarav
tamarav on

hello from Dallas
Hi Cuz,

Love the cool photos and info! I've forwarded the pics of you on top of the Baslica & middle of the earth to Dad-he'll get a huge kick out of that one! He climbed to the very top of the tallest mountain in Germany- no net to catch him if he fell!

I love to cook to so if Inez has a great recipe you might bring it home if you remember...

love ya,
Tammy

lex2osu
lex2osu on

All good in the hood
Brandon,
I know you haven't been gone long, but just in case you're wondering if life goes on without you...uh, yep! :) Well, what I meant to say was, you're not missing anything here...the weather is the same, it gets cool-we all jump for joy, then it gets hot again and we all sweat, the same tv shows have their season premieres, the same faces at the same bars, no one is having any fabulous parties without you-they've all agreed to wait until you return, and OSU loses a non-conference game early in the season...yep, same 'ol same 'ol. Oh, and I was in Oklahoma this past weekend, and guess what? Same. Just thought you'd want to know. It sounds like you're already having a fab-u-lous time, enjoy!!
lex

rubenct
rubenct on

Que honda?
Que honda cabron, como te va en Ecuador? Que tal las viejas aya? Estudie mucho, y no te pones muy pedo todos los dias. Nos vemos pronto. Cuidate Amigo.

Ruben

rsmall
rsmall on

Buenos Dias, Brandon!
Hola,
Coma Esta? Muy bien aqui Dallas. Okay, that is the only spanish I know.lol. Hope you are having a great time! It seems like you ended up with a great host family. Talk to you soon and learn that spanish!

Robyn

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