I arrived in Quito last night around 10pm though it took an hour or longer to get through customs. The line was forever long and every single bit of luggage had to be x-rayed. The line was pretty chaotic as well as some it started from 3 different places and people kept trying to sneak in.
While the plane ride was fairly smooth, I was very unlucky in my seatmates. From NY to Atlanta I sat next to a couple. The wife was a bit obese (needed a wheelchair to get off the plane) and the husband who sat in the middle seat kept letting out these smelly farts every 10 min or so. I thought I would die. We arrived in Atlanta and I had a 3-hour stopover which was cool. I enjoyed some yummy frozen yogurt, bought new headphones from Brookstone and then did a bit of knitting. I had planned to work on Little Birds but instead I cast on Saroyan. I hadn’t wound my yarn though so I was sitting at my gate, yarn around my knees, winding away. I’m going to knit it up in Malabrigo Worsted, Bobby Blue. Anyhow, I thought that lightning couldn’t strike twice on farty seatmates. Boy was I wrong. The 5-hour flight from Atlanta to Quito was not pleasant seatmate wise. At least his were spaced out every 20-30 min so it was slightly better than the NY-Atlanta flight.
Luckily the movie choices were really good; everything I’d planned on seeing and never got around to seeing. I ended up going for the fluff movies though. I wanted to knit and not pay too much attention so I went for It’s Complicated with Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin and then Ninja Assassins, a B-grade action movie. I have a thing for B action movies.
I was met at the airport by the World Teach Field Director and Asst Field Director. We then took a cab to my host family’s house. I’ll be staying here while I look for my own place. It’s very comfortable. I have an apartment to myself on the top floor. It’s a bit colder than I had planned for. NY was so hot the last few days that I think I may not be as prepared clothes-wise as I should be. I’ll be ok though. I brought a jacket and some sweaters and I guess if worse comes to worse, I could knit myself a couple of sweaters (or of course just buy some) :-).
I was pretty tired after the long trip – around 12 hours total. But I had to immediately make nice with my host family. We sat around, the parents (Sandra and Marco) and the World Teach peeps and chatted. All in Spanish of course. Luckily, Kate, the Field Director, is the chatty sort and kept the conversation going as I slowly faded. Long flight, having to speak in Spanish after years of not practicing, really high altitude – Quito is around 9,000 ft above sea level, the second-highest capital city in the world – and I was pretty much down for the count.
This morning I had breakfast with my family. We had brekkie around 9am which is sooo early for me. Being unemployed for the last while, I’ve fallen into bad habits. Staying up knitting and watching movies till 3 or 4am and then waking up somewhere between noon and 2pm. So for me, breakfast at 9am was hard.
There’s a pic of the breakfast table. We had empanadas de queso, boiled eggs (not in pic), more bread, a choice of tea, hot chocolate or coffee, and fresh pineapple juice. I’m really looking forward to having fresh juice every day. I’m not a coffee drinker and most ex-pats don’t particularly like Ecuadorian style coffee. It’s pretty much instant Nescafe in a cup of hot milk – cafe con leche.
I got to chat with the whole family at breakfast. There’s the parents I mentioned earlier – Sandra and Marco, then there are three kids, Alejandra – the oldest, 25, Andrea – 22 and studying Architecture and the youngest, Christian, 13. There was also Daniel who I’m not sure if he’s one of their children or a friend or a cousin or what. A mystery to figure out.