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Published: September 19th 2012
Day one! Getting excited! We spent most of today on a plane so there isn't much exciting to talk about. However, one of the coolest sites to see is the sun setting while you're on a plane. It's a perspective you don't get anywhere else and at that point we were nearing the equator so it was even cooler. It sort of signified all of the great things we were about to start doing in Ecuador and all the perspectives that we would experience there but no where else. We got to our hostel, Otavalo Huasi, late at night. It was only about 30 minutes from the airport on a bus and I was greatful for that. With that being said, we were basically in Quito, which is the capital of Ecuador. Many parts of urban Quito look much like the United States. In other words, you wouldn't go there and think "Wow, these people have no access to healthcare and need my help." (And I am not saying everyone in the US has great access to healthcare.) We soon learned however, that thge communities we would be visiting just outside Quito, did in fact need resources. Tonight we got to meet the people that have been planning our trip and will be helping us throughout our stay in Ecuador. Valerie and August work for Timmy Global Health and they organized everything for our trip. They are awesome. We also met Pablo and Paco who will be our translators (along with Val and August). The weather here so far is awesome. It's a little chilly but just feels like fall weather at home.There are ten nursing students and two faculty members from UC. For the first part of the trip I am rooming with Caitlin, Marli, and Kara. They will be the ones helping me figure out when to shower to get warm water (which will not happen all the time) and they will help remind me not to flush toilet paper in the toilet. It seems like that's where it belongs right? Well the US has good sewage systems. Not the case here. It also seems easy to remember not flush the toilet paper right? Nope. As soon we arrived from the airport, the woman who ran the hostel had tea and coffe waiting for us. She also made us Hunitas which are cornhusks filled with cornmeal and cheese (they tasted like cornbread) and Quinbolitos which are banana leaves filled with cheese and raisins. They were both good. I have to remember to drink lots of water because the high altitude here in Quito (in the mountains) causes people to dehydrate easier. For someone who has never traveled internationally, it was weird to see signs in a language other than English.. so bizarre to get used to. Quito is a much larger city than I anticipated. Allie sat next to a girl on the plane who is from Ecuador and she warned us not to even have our phones or cameras out when we are in a busy part of the city because people will just grab it right out of your hand. Thanks for the warning! Not much to write about today.. more tomorrow!
PS: I apologize if I change tenses frequently. That really drives me crazy. It's hard because I want it to feel like a journal entry but it actually happened so long ago so I confuse myself sometimes!
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