Thursday, November 17, 2005

7 July 1989 -- Quito

(This was written at 2 different times, so it's a bit scrambled.)

Lecture today -- Robert Mix on "Ethnic Diversity and the Use of Human Resources." Mix's best lecture to date. We sort of rebelled and turned it into a question and answer period.

Depart for Quito today-- a magnificent & scary landing!

Quito --
This city is such a jewel. Everyone says that, but it really is. It is such a change from Guayaquil. Guayaquil's infrastructure has been pushed to the limits because of its population growth. The roads are poor, there is garbage in the streets and everywhere, much of the housing is substandard, the utilities rate a paragraph all on their own -- many people don't have gas lines to their homes and the water pressure is poor, (when you can get water at all) and it is recommended that you boil the water for 20 minutes before you drink it. (I wouldn't even drink it then -- go for the bottled water.) The major redeeming quality of Guayaquil is the lovely people, especially the families that most of us are staying with.

But I'm not here to write about Guayaquil -- back to Quito. It was cloudy most of the flight to Quito. We finally broke through the clouds and began our descent into the valley. Such a sight! Quito seems to be a long city with block houses. We were finally picked up at the airport by a car and a pick-up truck. They wanted to relay us to the hotel in the 2 vehicles, but we said, "No, we are all going to ride in the back of the pick-up truck!" So, we were traveling just like everyone else here!

Then we went to the Banco Central Museum -- lots of Pre-Inca and Incan stuff and many religious art pieces that were made by the Indians without any formal training in art.

Then we drove to "La Virgen de Quito en el Panecillo," a statue that overlooks the city from a hill that looks like a mound of bread (hence the Panecillo), and took pictures. Panoramic view of Quito -- blue sky, clouds, mountains -- my words just don't do justice to the view.

Next stop the leather shops, then out to eat. We ran out of gas in our van! Transportation in Ecuador is such an experience!


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