August 30, 2011

Settling in and our apartment

The apartment we chose was the third one we visited with a huge group of other teachers on the first day. We are so taken with it! The layout is pretty similar to our apartment in Munich with 2 bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms and a nice sitting area, but the view is what we truly love about it! Quito is set into a valley with mountains rising on all sides. We’re on one side of a hill that looks out on to Pichincha (pronounced “pee-cheyn-cha”), the biggest mountain nearby. Our neighborhood is called El Batan Alto.

Pichinicha and Quito at sunset - view from our window

Pichincha and Quito during the day - view from our window
Pichincha is about 15,600 ft. high so it definitely sticks out over the city of Quito, which is only about 9,500 ft. high. We will probably climb it (or at least part of it) some day, but unlike some of the other new teachers here, we probably won't do it within the first few weeks we're here. Greg and I are still getting acclimated to the altitude. At night, we see out on to most of the north-central valley with all the lights lit up and in the day, we can see the clouds roll in and cover the top of Pichincha as well as the planes land.
Our living/dining room
Our buddy, Mape (short for MarĂ­a Paula), helped us so much – taking us to look at as many places as we wanted, driving us around town, negotiating apartment prices (we started to call her Tiburon, shark in Spanish, by the end of the week together), reviewing contracts, finding a queen bed, explaining what food was at lunch and even checking into where to find a sewing machine for me and a used guitar for Greg and another new teacher. Thankfully, we didn't have to buy too much since it's a furnished apartment - imported items are really expensive here in relation to the low cost of living.
Our bedroom - Greg may try to fix us up a box spring from plastic crates
Kitchen overlooking the city lights - please excuse the fluorescent lighting!
My hope is that someday I can help Mape and all the other buddies out as much as they've helped us. I’m planning to start a crafting (sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc.) meet-up with Mabel, Mape and any of the other teachers at school who are interested so I hope to see more of them. I'll add more photos up later, but that's the main parts of the apartment so far.


  1. what great views from your place! how are you settling in now? It was great chatting with you before you left. we'll have to catch up on skype soon. :)

  2. For sure, Santhi! I'm glad FB chat is an option too.