The worldwide Augustana College experience

Ecuador, Day 1.

I wish I could give a full update on everything that’s happened in the last day, but that would be a lot to write and read about.

The flight from Houston to Quito went along smoothly. I watched a couple of movies and played cards with the guys in the seats next to me, so that definitely helped pass the time.

Our first full day in Ecuador was so packed, it doesn’t even feel like the same day.

Breakfast this morning was at nine and I couldn’t tell you the name of half of the items in the buffet, but they were all delicious. We met the directors from CEDEI and they gave us an introduction of the area as well as a run-down of the day.  Our first stop was El Mitad del Mundo, or The Center of the Earth.

At La Mitad del Mundo

At El Mitad del Mundo

This started out as a nice photo of the three of us standing on the Equator, until Natalie grabbed my arm and Kennen took the other… I like the outcome : )

After taking a dozen pictures on the line separating the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, a small group of us walked around checking out some of the shops and stoping at a small restaurant for a delicious lunch (there is a pattern developing… I have yet to experience a meal in Ecuador I haven’t loved).

The next stop was the Guayasamin art exhibit, la capilla del hombre (the chapel of man) and was completely in awe of his work. My art professor called him the Ecuadorian Picasso. This man had such a big impact on the art world and Ecuador and it was easy to see why. A lot of the artwork we saw was such a breath-taking display of human condition and emotion. Many of his painting emoted anguish and suffering and you could just feel it when you looked at his work.  Before I even knew anything about his paintings, I was blown over by the weight of despair in his subjects.  It was such a powerful exhibit and I’m sort of regretting not getting a poster.

Our last group outing of the night was a city tour of Quito with our two wonderful tour-guides, David and Luis. We saw the Basilica, the house of the President, a few beautiful chapels and a lot of hills (props to our bus driver who confidently wove his way through traffic in the narrowest streets I’ve ever seen at a full 40 degree slope). After another excellent meal at restaurant called  El Pobre Diablo, I’m back at the hotel, getting ready for another adventure tomorrow, this time in Otavalo. Our first Art class is some time in the morning and I’m pretty pumped for the market there.

Early morning tomorrow, more to come!

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