August 24, 2011

First Weeks in Quito

The first week in Quito flew by. We’re already on the second one and much of the city is still foreign to me. We arrived late on Sunday the 14th and then had long lines to get through for immigration and customs because five other international flights came in at the same time. Luckily, we met lots of new teachers waiting in line, too.
We're really here!!
There’s talk that they are building a new airport away from the city and varying reports of when it will be done – 2 months to a few years, depending on who you talk to. I’m all for it considering it took us almost three hours to get through all of the lines. We eventually packed ourselves into a van with three other teachers, two drivers and about 15 pieces of luggage. I think we all breathed a big sigh of relief when we arrived at the hotel at 1:30 am. Some because they could take a shower and get in bed; others because the van started to feel a bit like a clown car toward the end.

At that time of night, the streets were empty, but that didn’t stop a car alarm from starting outside our window at around 3 am. And the dogs in the neighborhood had to join in as well. Coming from quiet Munich and Wisconsin, the noises at nighttime here took some getting used to. For example, the planes fly through the city to get to the airport. At first, I was really put off by the noise they make, but you can actually see them flying in and taking off. That makes the noise a bit better. And after a week here, I don’t pay much attention to them anymore.

View from the overlook -
can't see too much of the city though.
The next day was our first day of orientation – we had a tour throughout the city with the buddy coordinator, Mabel (pronounced “Ma-Bell”), pointing out the sites. We stopped at this great overlook closer to the historic city center. We also drove through the city center and I saw a ton of fabric and yarn shops! Someone is going to have her hands full. One of the other new teachers is a sewing enthusiast so she and I will be having lots of fun together, I imagine. Unlike our last school, she’s the only New Zealander in the group. The rest are either Americans or Canadians.

Mabel coordinated Ecuadorian teachers to be our buddies for the first week. We even started to see available apartments on the first day! I know you all are excited to hear about our place, but we don’t have pictures yet so you’ll have to wait a little!

No comments:

Post a Comment