|Finally arrived in Quito and to my relief my bags also arrived and the lady of my host family was there to collect me! All going smoothly...
...then she started to talk to me and soon realized that my Spanish didn't stretch to too much, so we took a taxi and did lots of smiling!!
The Host family are really friendly and consist of Mr (Guillo) and Mrs (Alicia) and 4 children - 2 boys, 2 girls, (Alicia Carina, Ana Margarita, Santiago and Christian) all somewhere between 15-23. Also staying with them is an Indian student, Sudeep, only difference is that he speaks fluent Spanish!!
First day was spent finding my feet and walking the whole city looking for a map! Also found the Old City (I'm staying in the New City) and made an Ecuadorian friend, Marcos, who showed me around "the most spectacular church in Ecuador", the Cultural Centre and an art museum. Not sure I would have found these by myself.
Second day I caught 2 local buses (very confusing) and headed up to the Equator. Here I bumped into Rebecca and Aike who were also on my flight so we learnt all about the different tribes of Ecuador and had a traditional lunch of rice, meat, beans and bananas - very delicious! As it was a Sunday there was a band singing and everyone was dancing in the square - I sat and watched!!
When I returned to the flat on Saturday evening I met the Grand-mother and asked if she wanted a cup of tea. She said she would come to the kitchen to talk with me (obviously hadn't been briefed that conversation is very limited with me!). On the way however she had a "turn" and the family spent that evening and all of Sunday in the hospital with her. I think she is due out tomorrow (Tuesday) but has had a head scan and they are awaiting results. Turns out that the Aunt has also just had a very serious car accident and smashed up her arm, and Santiago is having some gland removed on Monday, so good thing I'm out of there before it comes around to my turn...
Spanish School was supposed to start Monday morning, but due to a lack of teachers I had lessons in the afternoon for the first 2 days. The mornings, however, turned out to be much more sociable and we went for mid-morning coffee on the roof with the other students. The lessons have done what they were supposed to and I can now sting together a few sentences of Sparkling Spanglish, but very excited to be able to speak English again from tonight onwards!
Hit the town last night with Anita and rolled in in the early hours of the morning to nurse a sore head when I woke!! We went to a great bar called Sutra, which was open one side to the street and we were served by lots of camp men with face-paint. Quito was really kicking!
Committed a Cardinal Sin today and felt guilty ever since....I had a KFC for lunch! After having rice, meat and beans, or variations of, for lunch and dinner all week I was longing for a change - but it was horrible!
Have now moved out of the Host family's apartment and am due to meet everyone else on the truck in a couple of hours which is very exciting - fingers crossed they are a cool bunch. Leaving Quito early to tomorrow but I'll keep you up-dated...