Tuesday, October 27, 2009

everyday life in quito

Here are a few random stories/experiences from the past couple weeks...

I take the bus to and from Cumbayá, which is where the university is located. It's usually about a 20-25 minute journey. One day after school, I saw the bus pulling away from the bus station and RAN to jump on it, because I was already late leaving and just wanted to get home. A few minutes later I realized that instead of taking the normal turn to go back uphill (up...mountain?) into Quito, we instead were heading downwards...I had gotten on a bus "al sur", which would've taken me all the way to the bus terminal called Quitumbe- an hour long bus ride to the very south ends of Quito. And I was freaking out a little, because it was starting to get dark, and I was by myself with my laptop in my backpack.

But then I noticed that there were two other guys that looked like international students as well, and they were looking pretty confused and frustrated, so I leaned forward, got their attention, and we realized our mistake. We ended up jumping off the bus in the middle of the road and waited a few minutes for the bus back to Cumbayá. I was real glad that I was able to stick with them- I didn't even have enough change to pay for all the different buses back home! They were nice enough to help me out with that. They were both seniors at Boston University, and one of them practiced Zen. I had a really long conversation with him and he told me all about what Zen is and why he converted from Catholicism. It was a very interesting conversation- I have met very few people who truly believe something like Zen (not just believe it to be different than everyone else). He was a very intelligent guy...I'm hoping we can hang out some more this semester.

This morning I was walking up the mountain to the bus station, still waking up because it was only 7:45 am and I hadn't had any coffee yet. This guy walked past me with two huge dogs on a leash. Except when I glanced a second time, it turned out they were goats, not dogs. Only in Quito.

My host family had some cousins (or some relatives) over for dinner one night last week. We always have really spectacular food when there's company, so I was all excited to try the soup in front of me. Turns out it was made with cows feet. It had cows feet in it. And I had to eat all of it. And smile.

I had my first REAL conversation with my host mom the other night- talking about something more important than every day conversation, that is. She asked me about John, and we talked for a long time about relationships and what is good and what is bad and what is important. It was a great conversation.

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