Today was our last day of school, they gave us this photo of us with our lovely teacher Ruth. I can’t believe we’ve been here for a month already…
Tommorow we’ll write more and post photos of all the things we’ve been up to, promise xox
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.
Here are the promised photos from last week. If you hover on the photos the description of them should show up…xox
Yesterday we went to the otavalo market which is a couple of hours north of Quito. I got me a sweet alpaca cardy and some GENUINE ray bans haha. Dave got a soft scarf and a mean Ecuador bag for his camera. And some coca cola, lest we forget. As this post is just about fashion this is all I shall say. There will be a proper post soon, it’s just that I can do this from my iPod so I thought I may as well write something while I can. I’m now off to make brownie (fashion slash baking blog)
How is everyone? Yes, it is true, we are now fluent in Español. This is because we go to escuela español. Haha that´s about the extend of our spanish, mes o menos… Anywho, we have had another busy but fun week exploring, getting to know our new friends better and getting frustrated at our petarded-ness at spanish. Today after our lessons a group of us learnt how to make tortillas papas (potato tortillas) with delicious home-made salsa made from tamarillos, chilli, onion, coriander, salt…sooooo good! It was cool to sit down and share a meal as a big group and just chill out chatting in the sunshine. I think the highlight of the trip so far (for me) is being able to eat lots of food…mmm food. The boss-man at the school, Luis, took a group of us out to El Centro Historico (old town) last night to wander and see the churches etc. all lit up, then we taxid to the big statue, the virgin of Quito, on top of the sugar-loaf hill, pretty amazing! Aparently if you try to walk up that hill you have a 100% chance of getting mugged…one of our friends suggested we just walk up it naked instead… 100% chance of something else happening me thinks hoho. Once we came back down a few of us had tea on a newly renovated street called La Ronda, which is safe at night-time and has lots of little restuarants and vendors selling a hot spiced liquoire (man I wish this had spell-check!). Dave tried his first Empanadas, with a ($1) big-boy beer ofcourse and I had Humitas (a maize cake-ish thing steamed inside a corn leaf), pretty yum.
Earlier in the week Dave, me and a couple of our friends from Spanish walked to the AMAZING basilica in El Centro Historico. As you can see in the photos we could climb right up inside it, up ladders with missing rungs to the bell tower, and over long planks to get between the turrets – definitely not something you´d be allowed to do in NZ! From the top we could see how massive Quito really is, sprawling for ages; we couldn´t see the end of it! The day before we spent the day wandering Old Town, amazed by all the churches and the beautiful facades of the old buildings. Unfortunately lots of the churches were closed so we´ll have another wander next week.
We found a lovely coffee/chocolate shop, organic, fairtrade, run by and giving all profits back to the indigenous people…delicious wee cups of strong coffee and interesting chocolate flavours like andean salt and chilli. Ruth our Spanish teacher also took us to another fairtrade shop and showed me some naturally gluten-free stuff like puffed quinoa cereal and maize biscuits, then to a massive fruit market where we bought fruit we´d never seen before, pretty yum tho!
Also there is some sweet graffitti around. There you go.
Anywho, hope everyone is well, love you all lots and thanks for your comments it makes us feel loved xox miss youssss
Dave and Jess ps. there will be more photos coming it just took ages to upload ya see
only 4 bats yo!
Checking out the hummingbird out our window