Today was very much a family day. Ruby and I had a sleep in before getting up to greet the family. Our host mum's son David and his wife and three kids were there.
When it came time for the afternoon meal it included Ruby and I's first experience of homemade soup (soup is extremely common as an 'entree' over here). The soup had a piece of Yuca, lamb and Maiz and was of a broth consistency. For our first homemade soup it wasn't too bad! The rest of the meal was pork, potatoes with cheese on (runny consistency and tasted vaguely like Sour Cream) with avocado and tomato.
After lunch David asked if he could 'adopt' Ruby and I for the afternoon to which we agreed. His wife, 2 month old daughter and his 10 year old daughter came with us and he took Ruby and I to Parque Itchimbia where there are awesome views of the city and a large building made of glass known as the 'Crystal Palace.'
David then took us to 'El Panecillo' where a large statue of the Virgin Mary sits atop one of the city's hills. It was rather incredible to see up close and you could even go inside and up a few flights of stairs to a balcony about a third of the way up the statue. The views of the city were in my opinion better than those from the top of the Teleferico purely because the cloud/smog wasn't blurring the city.
Today was technically our first day of orientation with Lattitude (don't ask why they put it at the end of the first two weeks of Spanish course 😛). First we had an admin chat at 'Vida Verde' and shared our Hopes and Fears for the whole experience. Then we were taken to 'Mitad Del Mundo' aka Latitude 00°00'00".
- The Equator is actually 5km wide
- The monument for Latitude 00°00'00" is not the correct Equator line (the red one pictured is technically the correct one.
We spent a while wandering around the monument, taking the obligatory tourist photos, trying to pet the llamas (not me though) and looking at the high quantities of shops with all the same souvenir things. At 1pm we had lunch in one of the many restaurants at the location which was a rather large lunch with all typical Ecuadorian food.
After lunch we walked down the road to the Inti Ñan Museum where the actual calculated Equator lies. We had a tour round and learnt about some of the tribes and traditions in Ecuador and the Amazon and were shown some cool things that prove you're on the equator including...
- Directly on the equator line water does not spin when it goes down the plug hole it is simply pulled straight down.
- You weigh 1kg less at the equator because you are further from the centre of the earth and so the gravitational pull is weaker.
- Your balance is offset is you walk along the equator due to the contrary motion of the forces in each hemisphere.
After being amazed by the effects of the equator and North and Southern Hemispheres we headed back into Quito on the bus and went home (not before being caught in the rain though).
Not much to say about Tuesday except that if you need to get a visa other than a tourist visa, be prepared to sit in a hot stuffy room with many other people for 3 hours.
Take snacks and water
Don't make other plans (Lattitude had plans to take us to Old Town but we missed out due to the unusually long wait at Immigration)
22-02-17 Wednesday - Last Day in Quito
For the others, Wednesday meant having an individual 10 minute chat with Rossy in the morning and a teaching skills workshop in the afternoon at 'Vida Verde.' However for me, this meant lying in bed feeling incredibly nauseous for most of the day until I was eventually sick and managed to drift in and out of sleep for the rest of the day/night in the hopes that I would be okay to travel the 9 hour bus journey to Cuenca in the morning... Not fun but glad it is over with and my host mum was very helpful. Also, special shout out to Ruby who took good care of me and gave me the hug and love I needed ❤
(Sorry for the delay in the blog post, things have been very busy and full on in the past week)
Being sick makes things 10x harder and brings on the homesickness but the people around me were awesome and that's what counts and what makes things easier.
Miss you all.