Note: this post refers more to yesterday than today. The journey was long, but I have finally arrived. Fortunately my trip went without incident, unless you consider hardly sleeping during the overnight flight incident. Now I know that I do not sleep well on airplanes. Having travel companions made the trip a lot better. What got me though the last leg of our journey were the beautiful views of the Andes from the Lima to Quito flight. Numerous clusters of snow-capped peaks were visible. As we came in for the descent, mountains, farms and forests were visible. The land was beautiful in a way that reminded me a bit of Oregon.
It felt great getting off of the last flight. The Hinkles, Tatiana and I went through immigration to get our passports stamped and trudged our baggage through the exit. Tons of people were waiting behind a metal fence for loved ones. The host families were holding signs, which helped me cut through the chaos a bit. My host mother, Gaby, recognized me immediately, before I even saw the sign. Gaby and her daughter Dani helped me with my baggage, much to my delight since hauling two large bags, a carry-on, and a backpack is not an enjoyable task.
Traffic was bad on the way back from the airport. Luckily it did buy me the ability to see street vendors walking between lanes in the traffic selling fruit and CDs. Gaby bought some tangerines and apples from said vendors. She seemed to be pleased with my ability to communicate in Spanish, which was excellent because I didn’t know what to expect at first.
The house I am living in is nice but definitely different from a house in the United States, The furniture and just the general appearance give it a different feeling, as you can see from the pictures. My room has a view of some mountains, including Pichincha volcano.
I got to try a bit of the food since the family had not eaten before picking me up. It was simple but tasty, consisting of a soup with potatoes, rice, an egg, and fried potato cakes with cheese. It was probably a good thing that I was so tired from traveling because it took a bit of the edge off. Otherwise I would’ve been super excited and a bit nervous. Instead I was pretty laid back.
The rest of the evening was primarily just getting settled. I woke up very early this morning feeling excited about what is to come. Luckily this bought me some time to get ready and write this entry. One thing I learned is that tubes of sunscreen and toothpaste are not designed for 9,000 feet. When I opened the tubes, a bunch oozed out creating a mess. Hopefully I will find a way around that when I open my other tubes.
Now that was a long blow-by-blow of everything up to now. I probably won’t write this long every day but just had to express the experience of arriving here.