Day 10 – May 18, 2010 – Quito

Well today we were able to sleep a little later, we met in the lobby at 7:45 to begin our day. Our first stop was at the Sinamune school for the disabled. Rush hour traffic was pretty heavy and the driving in Quito is adventurous to say the least (but perhaps less so than in Lima).

Sinamune was founded by Maestro Edgar Palacios in 1993. Palacios is a talented musician who has more than 150 original compositions to his credit as well numerous CD’s. His goal at Sinamune is to teach motor skills to disabled persons through the use of music. The organization has an orchestra which consists entirely of physically or mentally disabled children and adults. Sinamune is one project the Grand Circle Foundation supports in Ecquador.

We enjoyed a wonderful performance of music and dance performed by the students. We even got to dance ourselves!

An always smiling Gustavo waiting for us to board the bus.

After leaving the school, we went to the colonial portion of the city.

Ceremonial Guard outside the Presidential Palace

Street vendor selling what looks like ice cream, but I understand it is some kind of meringue, I would have loved to try some, but with the heat I just wasn’t sure how safe that would be on my delicate North American stomach…

We then went to an outside cafe for lunch. It was located in the plaza at the Iglesia de San Francisco cathedral.

Bob is explaining something to the girls it appears.

We had cornmeal tamales, different from Mexican but quite delicious and goat. The goat was also very good. Another great aspect of this cafe location was that it gave me a wonderful opportunity to people watch and get some photos.

Latin lovers everywhere…..

He’s got MY GOAT…..

Security enjoying the “ice cream”

After lunch we drove the short distance to the equator to a museum. Here they gave several interesting demonstrations of equatorial phenomena .

Kay with one foot in the northern hemisphere and one in the southern.

A shrunken human head. There was even wall with illustrations showing the process to “shrink” a head. We saw these at a couple of different museums. We were told the natives no longer did this, but who can be sure? There is still a lot of the country which is jungle….

Bob and Carl look like they are about ready to return to our hotel for a little siesta.

A typical pharmacy. These are located every couple of blocks in the cities.

Arriving back at the hotel we had a couple of hours to relax, nap, or in my case get my luggage organized for our travel tomorrow. We would only be carrying our small bag, leaving most of our luggage in Quito to pick up on our return.

This evening we had our second “home hosted meal”. This time was a little different from the one in Peru. We divided into two smaller groups to visit different homes. Our family was a professional family who lived in Quito. The father, Diemel, had a degree in engineering but was the head of fraud at a bank outside Quito. Evelyn, his wife, was an accountant who worked from home. They have two children and a lovely home. The meal was very good, but the conservation with Diemel and Evelyn was what made the visit. They both spoke very good English and we were able to discuss any and all aspects of daily life in Ecuador.

Evelyn, Diemel and their children

Well, to bed early. We have to be in the lobby at 6:10 ready to leave for the airport. But first, we must check out and have breakfast. Up early again….

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