Black dogs and white dogs. Brown dogs and gray dogs.
Dogs on the street. Dogs digging through the garbage.
Dogs on the run. Dogs lazing around.
Dogs in gangs. Dogs all alone.
I don't know if P.D. Eastman ever visited Ecuador, but this place definitely could have inspired him in the "Dogs" category. Last night, as Karen and I made our way to our home for the night, I was amazed by the number of dogs in that particular "neighborhood." And that's saying something since there are dogs running around all over this country! I made the comment to Karen that I was sorry I hadn't counted all the dogs we encountered in that small period of time. This morning on our way out, I rectified that grievous error. In approximately 10 minutes (walking and riding on the bus), I counted 92 dogs. I didn't count the one that was actually behind a fence, and I'm sure that there were several that I missed, especially once we got on the bus, and I couldn't see as well in every direction. Anyway, if you're looking to adopt a pet, you might want to make a trip south! We've got plenty of canines to choose from.
Here are a few pics taken from the bus window between Quito and Ipiales. There aren't words to describe the beauty, and really pictures can't do it justice either. However, I really don't have any other options, so this will have to do until you see it with your own eyes. ;-)
W & K McLean are originally from Canada but live here in Quito to have an open home and support the friends and workers here. We appreciate their home very much. They have an unattached guest house known as the Suite. This is where I keep my extra things, and we frequently come and go from here when we are in Quito.
"My" bed is just on the other side of the windows.
The front yard
The back entrance to the main house is just through that gate and up the steps.
Our gate out to the street
Just one shot inside - my bed
Directly behind me is the bathroom.
Behind me and to the right is another bed.
To the left is the kitchen area and a closet for our hanging clothes.
Linda and I had breakfast (scrambled eggs, half of a roll with ham, cheese and jam, strawberry juice and hot herbal tea for me) in a restaurant owned by one of our friends in the south part of Quito.
Rode the bus for about an hour to meet up with Jill at the McLeans' home in central Quito
This particular bus driver was not one of the better ones. He seemed to enjoy accelerating and braking as quickly as possible. One elderly man flew halfway down the aisle of the bus during one such "brake." The bus driver calmed down a little after that!
Jill and I rode the bus to the north part of Quito (about an hour and a half).
We had lunch at the Patio de Comidas in the mall. (salad bar from Crepes & Waffles)
Walked to the psych hospital near the mall for a visit with the sister of one of our friends who lives in Colombia
Another quick stop at the mall
Rode the bus back to the McLeans' (another hour and a half or so)
Do you get the idea that we spend a good deal of time on buses? If so, you would be correct!
Linda had supper prepared for us when we got back to our "suite" at the McLeans'. Shawarma made with lamb and chicken - YUM!
Did I get to bed early? I can't remember. :-)
Saturday, Feb. 14
¡Feliz Día de la Amistad! / Happy Valentine's Day!
We had a quiet morning "in." I ran to SuperMaxi (grocery store) to get a few things and then brought Subway home for lunch.
Chatted with my parents and brother and sister-in-law on Skype
4:00 Gospel Meeting at Warren & Karen McLean's
Hebrews 9 & 10
Linda and I had supper and the night with the Marco Merchán family. A "few" others joined us for supper. There were 14 of us "around the table." It was noisy but wonderful. Three different languages were being used in conversation, and we managed to get along just fine. Cecilia ? (from Ecuador) was there with her husband and two children. Her husband is from Brazil, and that is where they live. (Portuguese) David Lansdale (lives in Quito) had his mother and nephew with him. (English) It was a wonderful time of fellowship, food and laughter. Oh yes, the main course was cow tongue in a cream of mushroom sauce. It was quite good. :-)
Sunday, Feb. 15
Sunday morning meeting - 10:00 am @ Marco & Mercy Merchán's
Marco and Jenny Díaz (and grandson, Benjamin) gave us a ride to the McLeans' where we met up with Jill.
Jill, Linda and I met Elena and Maritza for lunch at Crepes and Waffles. I didn't take a picture of my meal (Huevos Manchecos), but I couldn't eat my dessert without taking a shot of it first.
Vanilla ice cream with hot chocolate and caramel sauces, banana pieces, whipped cream and nuts
I think that oughta do me on desserts for a while!
Chatted with my sister on Skype
Don Julio picked us up at 4:00, and we headed for the airport. Jill is heading to Brazil for seven weeks of convention rounds, so we were happy that we were able to see her off. We got there a little early since there was no traffic. Amazing! We enjoyed sipping our drinks from the Juan Valdez coffee shop and watching all the airport hustle and bustle.
A line up of taxis
Come on down!
The flag on the left is the Ecuador flag. I'll have to keep trying to catch it when it's completely unfurled. I'm not sure about the flag on the right. Pichincha? Quito? I could look it up, but I'm too lazy. (It's time for bed.) Feel free to look it up and send me a comment. :-)
After arriving back at the McLeans', I enjoyed an hour or so of "music therapy" (aka: playing the piano) before heading back to the suite to get settled in and ready for bed.
And now the time has come to sign off and get some ZZZ's. I hope you all have a wonderful week ahead. I'll "see" you later.
In some ways, I can hardly believe that I've been in South America for a month, and in another way, it seems like "not being here" was a long time ago. I've been in two different fields already and have had three different co-workers. My fourth co-worker will join me next week! I'm learning lots and forgetting lots. Hopefully I'm learning more than I'm forgetting! There's a lot about being here that's still overwhelming in a way, but it's so wonderful to feel at home and comfortable in spirit. I look forward to seeing what the next month will bring!
Disclaimer: These aren't the greatest pictures since I was in a moving bus with a partially open window. However, they'll give you a somewhat general idea of what part of the landscape looks like on this particular route.
Also, perhaps I should mention that much has changed in Ecuador since I was last here in 2007. Advances have been made in a number of areas, including roads. Not all roads, mind you, but there are many nice roads now that aid timely travel. The road from Ibarra to Quito is particularly nice.
Tractor for sale
The white roofs in this picture and the next are greenhouses. There are a number of these along one stretch of road on this route. I'm not sure what they grow, but I'll have to find out one of these days.
Though nice, the roads are still quite curvy. The bus you see in this picture is on the same road we are, just behind us one curve.
You see more "nice" cars on the road now.
The "dots" in the rock wall on the side of the road are actually pipes. I'm not sure what drains out of them. I still have lots to learn!