Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ecuador May 3, 2008


Ecuador

May 3, 2008

Flew from Denver to Atlanta and then from Atlanta to Quito. The flight was three hours to Atlanta and then five very long hours from Atlanta to Quito. Saw 27 Dresses on the plane. One of the worst movies I have ever seen. I tried to walk out but I could not get the door open. We flew at 41,000 feet. Not sure if I have ever done that before. We were up that high to avoid some very nasty weather. The same fronts that brought the tornados to Arkansas and Tennessee over the weekend were running all the way from Chicago to Central America. I had a gluten free meal that included a sealed cup of mineral water. They must have thought it was gluten free water. Strange.

We went through a full security and customs check coming into the airport in Quito. I guess they were concerned that we might be bringing something bad into the country. When you leave the US they never check anything other than your passport and boarding pass.

I was met at the airport by Christopher who is my driver and also a teacher at the school in Quito. He was a Very nice guy. I would talk to him in Spanish and he would respond in English. Here we go again. In Guatemala I felt that my role was to teach English to my teachers rather than the other way around.

I paid him $20 which included the ride to the hotel and then the ride back to the airport in the morning to catch my next flight to Cuenca. That is pronounced Kween-Ka.

I stayed at the Hotel Plaza International. The room cost $14 a night. It was worth every penny. No cold water but that is ok because the hot water was cold enough. The sink looked like someone had used it for a chair and it was tipping halfway to the floor.

It looks like a set from a 1930s movie. Great architecture but the interior is lacking. My room is probably 50 square feet. There is a TV with cable. At least 90% of the stations are in English and are out of the United States

May 4, 2008 I watched CSPAN last night and this morning. Some old habits are hard to break. I did sleep well. I went to bed around midnight local time and woke up at 5 am. I guess that this is another old habit of mine.

No wireless access in the hotel. Several systems but they were all secure. The school in Cuenca is supposed to have wireless and I hope my host family does also.

My host family’s name is Heves Hermida. In Spanish cultures the family name follows the mother’s family. The father Eugenio a 64 year old Dentist. The mother is Elena and is a 60 year old housewife. They have four grown children in their 30s and 40s. Not sure how many might still live at home. The profile said that, “They live in a nice house with a great view of the city from the windows and terrace. They have a cat and a dog that do not live in the house,”

I have been checking the weather on the Internet for the past week and the daytime highs have been in the 80s and the overnight lows are in the low 50s. It was in the 50s last night when I arrived. There was a light rain also.

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