Thursday, January 29, 2009

Snow January 28

I love snow, I love watching it fall, I love when the ground is covered with snow. And I welcome snowstorms. It is amusing to be in Baltimore during a snowstorm, when the city shuts down and the schools are off and businesses closed. My car was frozen this morning. It was covered with ice several millimeters thick so that I could not scrape the ice off the windows. I warmed up the car and waited, unable to see out the windows for 45 minutes. I believe that my Prius does not really warm up like the usual sort of car....finally I could scrape off the ice chunks and drive. The roads were empty, slippery, icy, treacherous, but driving slowly and deliberately works. I chose roads without hills so I took the longer way to my office. I stopped at Starbucks for my triple macchiato and when I returned to the car, the door was frozen shut. I panicked for a moment wondering what I would do if I could not get the door open.

The coffee warmed me up, and I arrived at my office to find that half my patients had canceled for the day. Most businesses were closed and anyone I spoke to was fearful of driving. I had a quiet contemplative day and accomplished alarming amounts of paperwork. Snow days are peaceful and gentle and nurturing and they are a treat when they happen.

Children love the snow. My daughter excitedly dresses in her snowpants, snowboots, and other snow attire and is ready to play at dawn. My dog wags his tail and rolls over in the snow and wants to play. Even Pippi, who is dying, ran around in circles when he went outside.

It is curious to be at 9000 feet in Quito encircled by higher mountains and no snow in sight. We climbed to 12000 feet and more and still saw no snow. There are high mountains which do have snow at their tips, like Cayambe and Cotopaxi. But because the country is at the equator, snow is not part of the Ecuadorian experience. The weather is relatively constant, the seasons do not change-- there is in fact a dry season and a wet season, both in the jungle and in the high Andes, and when it is dry in the jungle it is wet in the Andes and when wet in the jungle it is dry in the Andes. We were in the jungle during the dry season, but it rained alot this past year, and it rained almost daily when we traveled through the highlands.

Quito is known to have comfortable weather, never too cold or too hot. My experience in January is that one must have several layers which can be peeled off as necessary. It can rain in the morning, be sunny an hour later, change again several times during one day. I do not believe that we will ever have a snowstorm while we live there.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you're right, you'll never see a snowstorm in Ecuador. But you will enjoy spring weather all year round in most of the cities of the highlands. Ecuador is a very diverse country with charming people and beautiful landscapes.

    Enjoy your stay