Posted by: mckecuador | May 11, 2011

Hola from Quito


Day 1 – Monday, May 9

Our adventure began when we met our companions at the airport at 4:00am.  After a two-hour flight (a first for the two of us!), we landed in Miami, FL for a five-hour layover.  In Miami, we ate lunch at the News Cafe right across from the beach.  While we waited for our food, we ran and played in the ocean.  The food was great, especially the key lime pie!

After lunch, it was back to the airport for a four-hour flight to Quito.  When we touched down in Ecuador, we met our guide, Miguel, for the first time.  We saw our first glipses of the city as we drove to our hotel, which is beautiful!  After settling in, we took a walk around the city and ate dinner at a small restaurant called the Magic Bean, where we experienced our first taste of Ecuadorian food and became closer with Miguel. 

Dr. Diuguid and Dr. Wilhelm high atop the Andes Mountains.

Day 2 – Tuesday, May 10

Our first full day in Ecuador began at 7:00am with breakfast at the hotel.  At 7:30, we left for a tour of Quito, starting with the Bassilica which is the largest church in Quito.  Miguel shared with us some of the history surrounding the churches, such as the interconnecting underground tunnels used by Catholics to travel in secret, avoiding their conquerers.  We then walked to Independence Square, where we saw the President’s and Mayor’s house and the Bishop’s palace.  We were even allowed to walk on the President’s porch, where he sometimes delivers speeches.  There we witnessed the changing of the guards, a long-standing Ecuadorian tradition.  Afterwards, we walked to San Francisco Square, where the Saint Francis Church is located.  After a little shopping, we reboarded our bus.

Students learn about the rotation of the Earth.

Our next stop was the statue of the Virgen de El Panecillo which overlooks the city.  We climbed the base of the statue to a ledge with a spectacular view of Quito and the surrounding area.  However, not even this could compare to the view offered at our next stop, a tram ride to the top of an inactive volcano in the Andes Mountains.  After lunch, we traveled to El Museo de Sitio Intinan, a museum on the equator.  The tour was interactive and explained many popular science facts, such as whether it is possible to balance an egg on the equator (Apparently it is!), and that the direction that draining water swirls is affected by which hemisphere it is in.  This also explains why tornadoes and hurricanes never occur on the equator.  We also saw relic calendars and clocks, and we learned about some indigenous tribes, such as the Waorani, who are well-known for their practice of head-shrinking.

Students (and Bogey) on the Equator

Students (and Bogey) on the Equator.

The group is functioning very well together, and we can’t wait for the rest of the trip!

Rachael and Anthony

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Responses

  1. WOW! What an amazing adventure. Savor every moment, you are building wonderful memories. Thank you for sharing your experiences . The pictures are great! Be safe and enjoy.

    We love you Haleigh!

  2. Keep the blogs and pics coming. Anxiously awaiting updates. love you guys

  3. I;m looking forward to reading your daily updates, enjoy yourselves, it’s a trip of a lifetime…Haleigh, good luck, we are thinking of you… I hope you’re finding some good eats

  4. Thank you for the update. Glad to hear that you all arrived safe and sound. The mountains look awesome!

  5. Love the pictures! It’s almost like being with you. Kat you look so happy. You are truly in your ideal element.
    Love you,
    Mom

  6. Wow, that looks pretty cool, but still not as cool as Landon :)
    What an experience, enjoy every moment. Can’t wait to see what happens next. Stay safe–be careful

  7. This sounds so awesome!!! I am glad to hear you are all having such an eventful trip!! P.S. I like how this blog ends with the names Rachael and Anthony–they’re kind of my best friends <3

  8. Hello all,

    You all looking like your having a good time and the photos are beautiful. and to Rachel and anthony, Chris says Hello and to have fun.

  9. I’m so jealous!! I miss Ecuador and Miguel SO MUCH. Have a blast; it’ll be the time of your life!

    Em

    • Hi Emily,
      Miguel misses you too! This study abroad trip has been so much fun!!

      Dr. D.

  10. I am so excited for each and everyone of you! So much to see and learn, keep posting…I will keep reading! Be safe and take lot’s of pictures! Lisa

  11. You all looking like your having a good time and the photos are beautiful. and to Rachel and anthony, Chris says Hello and to have fun.


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