We arrived in Ecuador nearly a week ago. It was just about midnight on Saturday. We saw daughter Emily and son-in-law Cayo waving from the overhead balcony as we got off the plane. It took forever to get through the passport check and collect luggage, then we were swept out into the moist Quito night and two waiting cabs. At over 9000 ft. the altitude in Quito is always an adjustment. The first day I usually have a slight headache and woozy head and feel a little out of it. Walking quickly, especially up stairs or uphill wipes me out. But it was great to be here. The next morning we had breakfast at a favorite restaurant, The Magic Bean, in the touristy part of the city known as Mariscal or "Gringolandia". Looking out across the rooftops to the Andes soaring above the city, shrouded in clouds was pleasant deja vu and brought back memories of past trips.
Emily and Cayo had to work for the first part of the week, so husband, Ray, son, Andy and I went to a resort in the Rain Forest called Arasha. On the bus, we passed the monument to the equator and our route crossed and recrossed the equator on our way. I wondered whether the equator exerts an influence on one--does your blood flow differently as you move between hemispheres? I am yet to be convinced that water goes down the drain in opposite directions north and south of the equator. But it seems somehow significant to cross that divide.
Arasha was luxurious and very beautiful. It is not the kind of place we usually go, but a special treat and our Christmas present to one another. I will post pictures later.
Back in Quito, we were able to visit the school where Emily teaches briefly. It always makes me very proud of her to see how she interacts with her students. The school is Colegio Americano, The American School, in Quito. Her students are mostly children of well-to-do Ecuadoreans who are being educated using the American system in English. These children will most likely grow up to be part of Ecuador´s power structure and one hopes they are learning well, but on that day they were like all squirrelly teenagers on the last day before Christmas break. Yesterday we fought the crowds at the mall and the superstore and today will prepare for Christmas.