Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Safe in Bed

Home Sweet Home

I spent my entire day in our apartment, mostly in bed. It was amazing that thousands of miles away from Baltimore, home simply felt like home. I felt safe and secure in our small space. Maya and I snuggled in bed and watched movies. She was pleased that for once I did not insist we listen to the Spanish version (Shakespeare's 'As You Like It' does not sound right in any language but English). We stayed in our pyjamas all day and snacked on popcorn and fluids and took our Tamiflu and Ibuprofen and I believe we are both better. This flu was awful, with lots of body aches and discomfort, and it is unusual for me to rest when I am ill (I prefer to pretend that I am fine, and in time I usually am), but in the end it was simply the flu, and we will be back to normal in a few days.

Our Warm and Wonderful Cobija on Bed

Eric paid no attention to us. He was on the dining room table finishing his grant, talking to his collaborators, and got it out on time at 2 PM. I am not sure how he managed to avoid the flu, but he does not appear to have any symptoms as of yet.

It was a glorious sunny day again, and we had another blackout from 6 AM until 11 AM, but the car battery powered the internet and kept the computers going. The world outside appeared unchanged. The street in front of the building was busy with cars and people were working and eating at the restaurants and drinking coffee. We are next the 'Ministerio de la Salud', the Belgian Embassy, the Sheraton Hotel and a little further on is the British and Mexican Embassies. There is a large influx of employees in the morning, and Republica Del Salvador is packed and active from 9 until about 6, when most people leave and the street in front of the house has wall to wall traffic. Suddenly, by 7, the streets are empty and it looks like a ghost town. Only one or two floors in each apartment building are lighted; the rest are dark. I know that in our building, most occupants are 'petroleros' who are gone most of the time, and that several buildings on our street are businesses, but I wonder who the other occupants are.

Car Battery Running WiFi and Computers

It is not unusual here in Quito that streets and neighbourhoods that are busy during the day are empty at night. Except for the Mariscal, which is full of bars and restaurants and always lots of activity day and night, and the Centro Historico, which often has activities planned in the evening. People appear to hide in the safety of their homes in the evening and the night. Especially now that the lights are out in many areas at night. I am starting to understand why Quiteños like to stay at home in the evening; it is safer.

It May Have Rained Late in the Day But I Missed It!


  1. hi there, could you tell me how much the solar panel was and where you purchased it? thanks

  2. It is a Brunton Solaris 26 Watt folding panel. I also have the Solar Controller for charging 12V batteries. I bought the two on Amazon (delivery to Baltimore, MD USA) for about $270 in December of 2007. Frighteningly, these items are more expensive on Amazon today. Don't even bother looking at the Brunton website for purchase - their prices are double.

    This panel has been a workhorse for us in the Oriente. Excellent device...