In less than a week I have fallen in love with the city of Quito, with all its beautiful sites and loving people. Although the days are long and exhausting, I have yet to feel completely overwhelmed …and that is of course thanks to my wonderful group members!
One of my favorite touristy adventures we've been on this week, was to the presidents palace downtown. When the current president, Rafael Correa, became president in 2007 he decided that the riches of Ecuador should be shared with the people, so the gates were opened and tours through the palace began. I think this idea of equality in riches and the wellbeing of the community really speaks to Ecuador's character as a whole. They are a people full of warmth; the teacher I'm working alongside, at Calderon, says that "we are poor but happy."
But there are still some things about Ecuador that will take some getting used to…
- Putting toilet paper in the garbage not toilet
- No toilet paper in stalls- you better grab it before you go in or else your searching your purse for napkins or flyers
- Using bottled water to brush your teeth
- Students are extremely confident.. They have no problem asking if you are married or are single…or if they can have your phone number
- Getting lots of kisses on the cheek from students and teachers
- Living with strangers (although that one hasn't been tough because they have all turned out to be awesome roomies!)