Friday, June 20, 2014

Jacob in Ecuador - Week 3

Looking back on this week, it has by far been the best one since I arrived here in Quito! On Monday, the majority of our group met at a small restaurant to watch the USA vs. Ghana world cup game. We drew a lot of attention as we were all dressed in our American flag garb, and it was awesome to watch the USA win.  Nobody believed that the USA would win, which made the victory so much sweeter!

On Tuesday, we went to Quito’s cultural museum after class. To my disappointment, we were not allowed to take pictures inside the museum. I thoroughly enjoyed our tour, and I especially enjoyed learning about the Aztec history here in Ecuador. There were many precious historic sculptures made of gold and silver inside the museum along with countless religious paintings and statues. It is very evident that the citizens of Ecuador take pride in their history and culture, and I was impressed with how nice and modern the museum was.

After the museum, I was able to do something I’ve always wanted to do; go to a McDonalds in a foreign country! It was surprisingly expensive, and in my opinion it was nowhere near as good as back home.  It made me crave some good ole’ American fast food even more, and I plan on spoiling myself when I get back!

On Wednesday morning, I had a random burst of motivation to go on an early morning run before class. I ran in the beautiful parque de Carolina and I was blessed with the opportunity to watch the sun rise over the Andes mountains.  I am constantly being re-amazed by the beauty of the land here, and I will miss watching the sun set over the mountains every night.

Thursday was a free day after class, so Andres and I decided to ride the teleférico up the Pichincha Volcano to soak in some beautiful views and ride horses on the mountains. The teleférico is one of the highest gondola lifts in the world, and it took us to an elevation of 12,943 ft! The view of Quito was simply unbelievable, and it made me realize how massive the city really is. We also got an amazing view of the snow covered Cotopaxi volcano, which is the second highest summit in Ecuador. After taking an excess of pictures, we went on a horse ride through the mountains and the base of the volcano. It was one of the best experiences of my life, and I hope I can come back and do it again someday!

Today, Ecuador is playing their second game of the world cup against Honduras. The city will literally shut down for the game, and there will probably be a riot or two if they win. I am jealous of the passion that they have for the sport, and I hope that someday the USA can have the same attitude! This weekend we are going on an excursion to Guagua and Pichincha, and I have heard that we will be hiking and kayaking. I am excited for the trip, but it will be bittersweet because it will be my last weekend in Ecuador!

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