Ecuador-Quito (cont’d) Part 2-Meeting my new family.
Arturo from the Academia de Espanol, drove us through Quito, Ecuador, towards what would be my new home for a week. Jim had been in Quito for 10 days and was already settled in with a family of his own. He wanted to meet my family and compare the two homes.
We drove up a pretty steep street near the University of Central Ecuador. I had used Google Earth before leaving the states so I could see where my house would be in relationship to the school. It was about a 20 block walk.
We arrived at a modest home in a nice neighborhood with a security gate. I felt good about where I would be living. Arturo introduced me to the husband and wife, Manalo and Zaida. Both were very nice people and lived in a beautifully furnished home. Manalo was a retired accountant, but his passion was painting and what an accomplished artist he was!! They showed Jim and I around and told me their house was my house. I had a small room off to the side with a private entrance and private bath. Very convenient.
I put up my stuff and then Jim took me to meet his family. It was about 2 miles away, so we took a bus (25 cents). The official currency in Ecuador is the U.S. dollar. Jim had a very nice family and they welcomed me as if they had known me forever. All of the host families in the various countries I have studied in are very experienced in making students feel welcome.
Jim rode back to my house with me on the bus. It was raining hard and I was pretty soaked. It was cold and I was worried that I had brought the right clothes. My house was at the top of a very steep street about 10 blocks long on a 45 degree walk from the bottom. Manalo had made me promise not to walk up the hill for a couple of days until I got used to the altitude. No argument from me. A taxi charges $1 to go up the hill. Well worth the price when you are wet, cold, and already feeling the altitude.
I ate dinner with the family at 7:30. The first night, they made me drink herbal tea, which they said would help me get used the altitude. Dinner consisted of a meat dish, rice, soup, salad, and croissants. Their 39 year old daughter, Coya, and 15 year old grandson, Aaron, would eat every meal with us. Sometimes other members of the family that lived elsewhere in Quito would join us. A very friendly group.
The house was a little cold at the altitude, but they piled plenty of blankets on my bed to make sure I would stay warm.
Next-some more pics of my new family
To read about some of my other travels click here
Steve Barrymore email@example.com
After spending a quick 3 days in Panama City, Panama, I flew south on Copa Airlines to Quito, Ecuador; while my daughter, Stephanie, flew home to Oklahoma City.
I had been in Quito once before about 3 years ago while studying Spanish in a jungle immersion program near Tena, Ecuador on the Napo River.
My plan was to spend one week in Quito, studying Spanish at the Academia de Espanol, while living with a local family to whom the school would assign me. I generally use langlink.com to arrange my schools. They always do a great job for me.
In addition to Spanish school, I would travel to as much of the surrounding area as possible. For example, I always wanted to visit the market in Otavalo, as well as the museum of the equator outside of Quito. This would be my chance.
A friend of mine from Oklahoma City, Jim Couch, already happened to be studying for two weeks at the same school in Quito. Some of our days would overlap. By the time I arrived, Jim would already know the city and would have a couple of days to help me get quickly acclimated to the area, public transportation, etc., before he returned home.
When I arrived on Saturday afternoon flight from Panama, Jim was at the airport, as well as Arturo, the representative from the school, Academia de Espanol. Arturo would take me to meet the family with whom I would be living.
Quito sits at 9,200 feet and was cool and rainy on arrival day. A far cry from the climate of Panama.
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Next-Meeting my new family in Quito
To read about my other travels click here