After 3 safety talks during orientation, Quito has been made out to be a scary, dangerous city. But using our new knowledge to take proper precautions, a friend and I have taken to exploring the city.
We’ve visited an English bookstore, strolled through la Parque Carolina and hunted busy streets for available bathrooms. On buses, in a lame attempt to not bring too much attention to ourselves, we speak only Spanish. On the streets, we speak a Spanglish dialect. Often we don’t know where we are or where we’re headed, but we always manage to find our way.
Today was the best adventure yet. An after thought in my Ecuador guidebook, La Iglesia Guapalo is said to only be worth the trip if you have months in Quito. Since we do, in fact, have months here and it looked very close to our houses on the map, we set out to find the Church. Unable to find the stairs the guidebook said to take, we instead followed a steep, winding road through the neighborhood of Guapalo that a local ensured us would lead to the Church. An hour later, we arrived.
The Church was closed, but a peak through the door window revealed its beauty. On the way back up the mountain, we paused every 5 minutes (the exhaustion was because of the altitude of course). We found the stairs but the took us to a compltely different place than we had started. By sheer luck, my friend recognized it as the restaurant we’d eaten at with IES the first day and guessed our way back to roads we knew.
Our adventure closed with the discovery of a delicious panaderia y heladoria and por supuesto, treated ourselves to ice cream!
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Kate Paladin and I'm an Environmental Studies major, Math minor at Bates College. I am a research assistant studying lake ecosystems, volunteer in an elementary school classroom and perform Bollywood dance. Most people study Spanish and then decide to visit South America, but I did the reverse - after choosing Quito for study abroad, I took my first Spanish class! Although I have just 2 years of Spanish under my belt, I couldn't be more excited to study in Ecuador.</span></p>