Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pride of Place

Panecillo View

I wanted to show off Quito today, to present it at its best, so I made sure to visit my favourite part of the city, the Centro Historico. My friend Debra arrived late last night (most flights appear to arrive in Quito around midnight) to a busy airport. She and Eric recognized each other as she left the baggage area, and they drove home through the empty streets. Debra was shocked that Eric ran all the red lights. The police actually encourage running the red lights at night, because if you stop you are at risk of a carjacking, but the ride home was uneventful.

Eric and I took Debra to our salsa class with Jipsum, and she joined us in practicing some of the steps. She was very enthusiastic, and plans to return for more lessons, so will join us again next week. We are all going to Yasuni National Park tomorrow. Eric's students are working at the research station this past week, so while he is engaging in his research, Debra and I will hire a guide and see what we can see.

Plaza Grande

Archbishop's Palace

Debra and I had lunch on the square in front of San Fransisco. I insisted that we take a overly long taxi ride to the plaza, where I knew the food was good (and unlikely to poison her). It was a lovely feeling to sit and look out on the plaza and watch individuals and families living their lives and interacting with others. The food was wonderful; we had cebiche de camaron and dorado (they cook the seafodd for the cebiche here), and it was excellent. I like when the tostados (fried corn) and popcorn and dried plantains are added to the mix.

Soccer Team Wins

We had little time to explore, but felt the energy and life of the centro, and walked to the Plaza Grande and down to La Marin to catch the Ecovia back home. We absolutely could not miss Maya's soccer game and orchestra practice. I walked Debra back from orchestra over Carolina park. I found myself looking at my life in Quito from another perspective, delighted to describe and recount stories about this lovely city. I wanted Debra to like this place as much as I do.

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