The world must be round because it´s spinning!

Trip Start Jan 23, 2008
Trip End May 23, 2008

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Tuesday, January 29, 2008

After only 5 days in Quito and 2 days in Spanish school, my head is a-spinning! It could be the 6 hours of daily Spanish instuction, it could be the grimy air quality, it could be the constant cacophony of car alarms and horns blaring, it could be caffeine withdrawl brought on by instant coffee everywhere, or it could be a little of everything at 9000 feet.

It is not my intention to whine. I find parts of Quiteo truly endearing: the lovely colonial architecture of the old town, the plublic plazas, the lulling sound of the nightly rain showers, the simple yet savory food.

Our school is the main reason for being in Quito. Itīs been a wonderful experience. There are about 20 students total, with no more than 4 in each class, and no other Americans besides ourselves. Bill and I are both taking 4 hours of group classes in the morning, and then 2 hours of one-on-one tutoring in the afternoon. Itīs been a great approach.

Learning a new language also affords some real comic relief. For example, today I calmed explained that "El gato blanco esta al fuego" when I really meant was "El gato blanco esta afuero". She must have thought I was some kind of sick-o to set the white kitty on fire when it really just needed to go out.

Part of our language program includes a homestay with a local Ecuadorian family. We are staying with a lovely lady named Maria-ita. She has a townhouse about a 20-minute walk from school, whcih affords both exercise (4 treks per day since we come home for lunch) and route-finding opportunities (as we attempt to minimize the amount of trekking along noisy fumeous arterials). So far, our favorite route winds through the university, which is mas tranquil. Marianita also shares her home with her sister Teressita, niece Marie Jose, and her two great-nephews Daniel and David, so there is a LOT of Spanish conversation in the house. I figure I catch about 10% of it. : )

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