Without gold we live without water we die. This was one of the slogans that was sprayed on a wall of a building during a protest held in Quito the other day. But now that’s getting a head of my self a little bit and much has happened since our last post.
Me and Jess did a lovely trip to Otavalo which is a few hours out of Quito. We decided to do the whole gringo thing and went with a tour company so it ended up costing a bit more than we would have liked however it was nice none the less. We went to a national park and saw a lovely lagoon which was a welcome change from the endless buildings in Quito.
We´ve discovered a great park in Quito for running and on Sundays it’s a crazy experience. There are millions of people playing every kind of sport – its nice to see so much activity and you don’t feel like a dork running around in your foreign attire. We got lost on the way there so we thought we better taxi back. Taxi rides in themselves are an adventure with this one being no different and our driver “got lost” which is hard to buy.
On Monday we started another week of Spanish lessons, it feels just like school and we look forwards to morning tea where we can catch up on the weekend´s gossip with our class mates. Now some of you may have already heard about our adventures of this Monday but it’s a good story so…
After class we went for a walk down to one of the malls in Quito, all went well and we had some lovely KFC and slightly racist chicken. On the way back we had a rather fecal experience to say the least. Whilst walking it appeard that Jess got crapped on by a bird however no bird was to be seen and the oudor and quantity suggested that the excrement in question was of other origin – Homo sapien to be more specific. Any way by this time we where both a bit disheveled and a man tried to help us clean up. I would have fallen for it myself however Jess is much more savvy in the ways of the common crim and realised that we where in the midst of the old poop shoot scam and advised me to quickly “gather my shit” and go. We then walked back through town coverd in excrement but safe and thankful that nothing was stolen. It was yet another example of how God is watching over us in our travels and for that we are grateful. Subsequently a few days later me and Jess saw the very same culperate in a different part of town and this was a little unsettling. Later on in the week we met an english traveller who had the same thing happen to him (by the same man!!) however he was not so lucky and had his bag stolen. So we cleaned ourselfs up and chalked that one up to experience.
We had another sureal South American experience this week. There was a protest against the government against their plans to mine on indigenous lands. It was very intense some sources sugested that there where upwards of 50,000 people there all fired up representing different indiginous groups as well as anti-mining supporters, ecological groups and even a ecudorian feminist movement. The papers stated that only 1,000 or so people attened which demonstrates the lvel to which media is sensored over here. On the way to the protest we followed a march down the street from our school and on the way there were people spray-painting slogans on the walls. It was intense. There where so many police all dressed in riot gear with dogs and even on horse back and helicopters, it had a somewhat apocolyptic vibe to it. We stayed around for a bit just taking in the whole experience then decided to head home as we had a date with our classmates at a local hipster bar (as in ecudorian fashion it rained heavily on our way home and we got completely soaked).
We also went to bar called fin mc cools (it was dope).
On Saturday we went for a walk around oldtown to see inside some of there rad churches, they where prety legit and ornate, it was a starcling contrast to the rest of Quito. Those catholics know how to decorate though. In the afternoon we went to this rad art gallery for a local artist called Guayasamin. He is the bees knees and paints about the stuggle of indeginouse peoples of the world and has some prety powerful stuff. This gallery was amazing and to see his paintings in there true splendor was breath-taking.
Hasta luago amigos thanks for all your support and we´ll keep you posted on more of our adventures. We´ll also try and put some photos up later.