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Monday, October 15, 2012

Tour Guide Extraordinaire

This post is a bit dated, but I have been very busy playing tour guide. The day after we got back from Otavalo a new volunteer arrived to liven things up a little bit. Marcela is from the States but lives in Colombia and was here on vacation for only one week, so we had to make the most of it. This means that I got to use all of my knowledge of Quito and Ecuador to show her around the city and try to pack in as much as possible during her short vacation. It was actually very fun to pretend to be an expert (I'm not.) I think I may have a future career in the tourism business, of course I did get us lost almost every day, so maybe I should hire a map reader to be my business partner.
Here we are acting like touristy gringos in Mariscal.

Anyways, the week was a smashing success and I had a ton of fun hanging out with my new friend. It kicked off with what was advertised to me as "An Octoberfest Party." Toby's Spanish teacher invited him to this party thrown by one of her former students, a German woman now living in Quito. Toby brought Marcy and I along figuring everything would be fine at this huge Octoberfest bash. Turns out it was really just an intimate birthday party for this woman with her family and a couple of close friends. But they're Ecuadorians, so our imposition was excused and we were welcomed with open arms and full plates. This woman knew how to cook, it was probably the best food I have had so far in Ecuador. The party was great fun and turned out to be a great way to finish the weekend.
Our German birthday party group.

This was the buffet... amazing German food!

That same day we visited the "Capilla del Hombre" or Chapel of Man. It is a museum designed by and displaying the artwork of Guayasamin, probably the most famous Ecuadorian artist ever. It is a museum dedicated to the pain, suffering, and injustice endured by the indigenous and lower class in Ecuador. The museum was free on Sunday and offered a free guided tour. It was an extremely moving experience, not only is the art beautiful and emotional, but the entire museum and tour tells a story of injustices and suffering around the world, as well as the hope for a better tomorrow. Of course during our tour there had to be that one girl who is on her phone the whole time. How can you be focusing on a text message while the guide is talking about mutilated bodies and dictatorship in Spain? It's pretty much like talking on your cell phone at the Holocaust museum... pretty bad etiquette if you ask me.

Throughout the week Marcy and I traveled all over Quito. To the Old Town, Vista Hermosa, Mariscal, Artisan markets, Mitad del Mundo, and more. It was a really great time and I have so many memories from it to share, but this post is already starting to drag on, so I think I'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

The rooftop terrace of Vista Hermosa.

These next two photos need an explanation. Ecuadorian desserts are deceptive... they all look delicious, like something out of an expensive cookbook. However they taste horrible. So far almost every dessert that I have tried here has been disgusting, the cake tastes like aluminum, the chocolate stuff is tasteless, and the cheesecake is basically just whipped butter with no flavor. As Marcy described it "It's like they saw a picture of something in a book and then just threw together whatever ingredients made something that looked like the picture."

Bad Ecuadorian desserts.

We covered up those desserts and ran for it.

This is a piece of public art in Quito, the police officers standing 10 meters away apparently didn't care that we climbed it.

Mitad del Mundo.

Marcy doing headstand on the Equator.

We have way to many bracelets.

Me deciding what to write in the "Pictojournal"

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