Ecuador: Chronicles of Various Busrides

Ecuador, or Quito, rather since that is what I have seen of it, has been full of contrastes and surprises. The city is divided into the posh north side, (chock full of Shopping malls with more name brands than I knew existed), the historical center, (which is home to the presidencial palace, really ancient cathedrals, and lots of street musicians and pedlers), and the south side, which is the rough side of town to put it nicely. One bus ride from the north to the south and you feel like you are in a completely different country.

Some of my most interesting moments here have been on such busrides, ending up in unexpected places and seeing all kinds of people(preachers, musicians, and beggars all make the bus a public venue) . Once I got very turned around because the bus took me to a different side of the hill than I was used to. The side I normally went to has modest shops, is a bit dingy, but welcoming at the same time, its not too crowded either. When we pulled to a stop at the other side the hill Looked about 10 times steeper, and you could see the entire street swarming with people selling and buying and from one end to another. How strange it is to me that one side of a hill can be so different from another. It reminds me vaguely of the bus ride from Purgatory to Heaven in “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. Not that that hill was as bad as purgatory of course.
But enough about buses, I have been volunteering at an alter school program which helps kids with homework. The kids at the program are usually from families that sell merchandise in the streets, so they go to this house in the afternoon to have a space and help for homework. My proudest acheivemnet so far on this trip is being able to speak Spanish well enough to actually help them with their homework (with a dictionary in hand just in case of course).

My biggest guilty pleasure is having a host family that cooks like a 5 star restaurant. Every night there are at least three courses, with some kind of delicious soup, a main entree, salad, and dessert. I´m living the high life as far as food goes. I also made the family Chinese food one day, just to give them a taste of Asia, they seemed to like it, even though it was a bit more garlicy than they are used to eating.

Good thing I have to walk a lot of Hills here!

Next Week I am going to try to find some people to interview about childrens rights, while we are all waiting for the revelations of the wise, here is a poem that I wrote about the subject that I am studying, a while ago.

the truth
cannot wait for our fates to alleviate the pain
of affliction, her small round face, upturned
cannot wait for our predictions
to come true
the truth speaks louder than our statistics
spoken with dead pan faces to crowds, trying to move with facts
when truth
of who she is, what she was meant to be, of glory stifled by a cold hard hand
speaks louder
the numbers are what is
the truth is what she was meant to be

That is all for now, I promise to post photos very soon!

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