Monday, December 11, 2006

Hello ~ we have our very first visitors!

Our dear friend Susan and her boyfriend, Tom, arrived last weekend.
A little later than scheduled because it was raining and foggy when their plane was supposed to land (at 10:30 pm) and they were diverted to Guayaquil until the next morning. Apparently you need about 3 KM of visibility and there was only one. The airport is really close to our apartment and it's basically in the middle of the city.

We were so happy to see them and they brought us lots of goodies from home that I had ordered online.
They didn't seem to have much trouble adjusting to the altitude at all and just got right into life in Quito. We've already been cooking lots of great food and having cocktails on the terrace and chatting away each night.

They arrived during the Fiesta de Quito ~ which is a pretty big celebration in honor of the founding of Quito. There's lots of partying in the streets and roving party buses, called chivas andbullfights, too.

Tom has spent lots of time in Mexico and has seen a bunch of bullfights so he wanted to see a few here with the famous matadors that perform during the fiesta de Quito.

Chris and I are not so into the bullfighting (what do people have against the poor bulls, anyway?) and had already planned a trip back to El Monte lodge in Mindo (see earlier posting of the tropical cloud forest) so chris could work on setting up bee boxes for the special bees there so the lodge could have its own honey. He'll post some really cool pictures he took from this trip of some interesting insects.

We also had a mini-bullfight at school where one of the teachers I worked with put on this bull mask and ran around the field. Although our bullfight had no bloodshed ~ the Pre-K kids just tickled him with paper feathers!
Susan and Tom have been exploring the city and buying lots of cool stuff at the markets, and eating lots of Ecuadorian food ~ they're really enjoying the food.

You can check out their blog that has lots of pictures and descriptions of their adventures so far. It's
Their website is a little more high tech than ours with lots of links and stuff.

And today they headed south on a bus from Quito to explore some other towns like Banos and Riobamba. From Riobamba they are planning on taking a train ride down the nariz de Diablo (the devil's nose) where you ride on the roof of the train. Then they're heading to the coast and Guayaquil to meet some of the people Tom has worked with through Kiva ~ a microlending company that helps people start small businesses in developing countries.
And from there...who knows but they'll be back in Quito for Christmas, which we are looking forward to since we aren't able to come home for the holidays. We're planning on taking a four day trip together after christmas to an Eco-lodge called the Black Sheep Inn which is supposed to be beautiful (

Anyway, we'll post more soon ~ we hope everyone is well and happy!
xoxo, sharon and chris