Saturday, March 28, 2009

Plane Crashes and Earthquakes

I heard last weekend, when Alejandra and Santiago were visiting with us in New York, that a plane had crashed in the area of Gonzales Suarez, one of the places Eric and I had chosen to live in Quito. The occupants of the plane were killed as well as some inhabitants on the ground. There was a fireball and panic. Apparently this we not the first time that this has happened! I quickly went online to find any articles or information about the incident, and of course there was a video of smoke and people running both toward and away from the scene. I imagined that I recognized the location. When searching for available apartments, I was more concerned about earthquake and fire safety. It is not unlikely that a volcano will erupt, or that an earthquake will occur in or around Quito while we live there. In that case I am not sure any one area is any safer than any other. It will be impossible to escape the city, even if there is a significant warning system.When I expressed my shock and dismay at such news, I was reassured that the likelihood of such an incident happening again in that same area was reduced and therefore Gonzales Suarez is safer than it was before the crash. Great reasoning!

Now that we have decided on Maya's school, which is at the northern end of Quito (and the city is spread out vertically to the north and south and limited east and west by high mountains), it makes sense to look further north for a place to live, which I have not considered until now.

Wherever we decide to live, all of us will be commuting a distance to work or school or whatever activities we participate in. If Tara decides to attend San Francisco de Quito University, she will experience the joys of an hour bus ride up and down a treacherous road and Maya will have at least a 45 minute school bus adventure each way. We will all be learning much about local public transportation. Eric and i discussed NOT having a car, but it may make sense to have one, although three out of four in the family will be taking buses.Eric dreams about having a truck so that he can haul large loads into the jungle.

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, planes crashing into residential areas, treacherous roads, undisciplined drivers (of course we have those in Baltimore too); these are very new and unfamiliar challenges!

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