Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Sun Shining in Quito

View From Our Window

Driving through Lima early in the morning is almost pleasant. The traffic was tolerable, the sky was dark rather than grey, and we drove along the Pacific ocean for a part of the way. The sounds of the waves crashing was reassuring. Lima airport was easy to get through and we had a long time to wait for our flight so we went shopping. Maya and I tried every type of chocolate covered candy at 'Britt Peru'. Exotic fruits enveloped with chocolate necessitated trying every one to figure out which we had to purchase. I bought a fruit found only in Peru, which I cannot remember the name of anymore ( I finished the packet by the end of the day).

Quito was sunny and warm, in contrast to the grey, wet humid air of Lima. We were exhausted when we got home and had little energy to do much. We all took naps ( a rare event for me) until Maya's three hour ballet class.

It was good to be home. It will take some time to absorb all that we saw during our whirlwind visit to Peru. I still feel stunned, astounded, in awe, eager to learn more about the country, and to visit again. It makes sense to compare the two countries. Peru is bigger and has double the population of Ecuador. Lima is far more cosmopolitan, energetic, and vibrant than Quito, but being in the sierra of Peru reminded me more of the sierra of Ecuador. The tourist industry is far more developed in Peru. Guides speak English well, and every other language as well. In our experience there was more organization and everything functioned well in Peru. The food was excellent, in fact there is a true Peruvian 'cuisine'. I imagine there are all sorts of archeological sites in Ecuador, but they have not been developed, so it feels as if there is so much more to see in Peru.

Ecuador and Peru are Latin countries which share the Andean range and some parts of their history, but they feel very different. I want to explore so much more of Peru, but it also feels good to be back in predictably unpredictable Ecuador. Seeing our guards and our neighbours and saying 'Buena Tardes' to everyone, running into well built soccer players and their fancy cars at our building, visiting with the mothers from ballet class and catching up on the activities of the past week, visiting with my friends from the gym, catching up on email (my computer has not worked for the week), eating papaya and yoghurt for a snack and a coffee from Boncaffe next door; all that is familiar feels good, and it is good to be home.

On the other hand, coming home forces us to confront the reality of our departure in a few weeks, which brings sadness and regret back into our psyches.

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