Dan – drifterdanno,Colombia,4

Life in Quito August 4 2007

Hello! As you may or may not know I have now made my home here in Quito, Ecuador. It took 48 hours and 2 nights in airports to get here from Sweden but I am long over jetlag now. I was lucky enough to be told in the Madrid airport as I was trying to check in that Ecuador is very strict about their having a return ticket out of the country policy(first Ive heard of this). And there was no way around it. I was informed I had about an hour to buy a plane ticket to somewhere outside of Ecuador, lucky me, the catch? There isnt any tour operators open in the airport at this time. What fun that is when you havnt slept for 2 nights and havnt had any food because you spent your last euros. Luckily my frantic yelling and throwing about all the Spanish words I know to the non-English speaking airline operator desk got through. He gets out his trusty stamp (oh the saving power of stamps) and thumps it on a piece of paper and says “its OK”. Back at the desk the guy there tells me that all the garble on the paper means the airline was fined 700$ for selling me a one way in the first place. Which is just about what I payed for the ticket. The flight from Caracas to Quito was the most beautiful flight I have ever been on! I have started my volunteering as and English teacher. Actually they call me “el profesor de ingls” which rocks, I am a profesor! I was completely unprepared for my firs day because I didnt know what to expect. They just stuck me in a room with some kids. That day ended and its only gotten better from then on. It is a great way to learn how to teach English. I know what they meant at my course when they said “you learn how to… you have to… fast”. Some of them are pretty smart. A favorite snack of the kids is salt on lemon. Food here is good and cheap. They are chicken, bean and rice crazy! You can get a meal of that for around $1.50. MMMM! In Baos you buy sugar cane and chew on it. So much sugar cane everywhere. The music here is FANTASTIC. Coming from shops, buses, restaurants everywhere is trumpets! they are trumpet nutty! Its wonderful! I take the bus everyday to work. There are a few things you learn about buses here. First of all its unrealistic to expect a bus to actually wait for you to get on before driving away so I get to pretend Im a cowboy! same for getting off. It is also silly to assume that just because the bus says a place name in big letters on the front that it is actually going to go there. Oh the adventures caused by that! I have made a mental picture of what the mountains look like from where I live so as long as I head for that view I will be somewhere close-ish to home. Speaking of home Sinead and I have found a place we can rent for the month an entire $100 each. With hammocks and an AMAZING view! We are now in Baos for the weekend as I get long weekends off from teaching. We went to see the volcano that is here but it decided not to bubble for us. The mountians here are massive walls that block half the sky. There is so much countryside here full of half finished cement structures and people with donkeys!

Posted from Colombia:

posted Saturday December 2007

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