Monday, May 5, 2008
Finalmente estamos aqui en Ecuador. It was quite the journey, but eventually we ended up at our hotel. It was a mere 18 hour escapade. We flew from Salt Lake City (see picture) to Atlanta where we had a two hour layover. Then we flew to Quito and from Quito to Guayaquil. Luckily the drivers from the hotel met us at the airport and we were able to go straight there after clearing customs. We didn't see much on our first night here in town considering we were all exhausted. Of course some of us got more sleep than others on the plane. Our first full day was Sunday, and we had the wonderful opportunity to get up way earlier than any of us wanted to and attend church here in Guayaquil. It was a great experience! Of course everything was in Spanish but I astonished myself and was actually able to understand most of what was going on. I must admit, by the end of the three hours I had a headache from concentrating so hard, but the Spanish was also getting easier the more I listened. I have found myself acting as a translator for many of the other students here on the trip-which is something that makes me nervous. I don't speak nearly as well as some of the other people here but if things continue at this rate, I'll be speaking much better in no time at all. Another thing I had reinforced to me today is that the church is the same no matter where you go. I had already experienced this many times, but it was very evident by the time we were in Relief Society. There was a spotlight and a newsletter as well as the fact that, of course, the lesson went over time. By the time we were finished all of the little kids were at the door waiting for their mothers to get out of class. It seems that some things will never change. Some things here are very different! Some things that we have discovered:
~ The water really does drain the other direction- don't worry- we filmed it here.
~ We couldn't find toilet paper when we arrived at the hotel. There was however an Ecuadorian alternative offered
Don't worry, we eventually got some.
~ If you walk in the street they will actually hit you, but don't worry, they will honk first :)
~ A $5 bill is large...they will refuse to accept it at a lot of places. We were big spenders last night. Our dinner consisted of bottled water, Empanadas and ice cream. We spent $1.40.
~ Banks will not change your money if it was printed in the US. Of course, they use US dollars, but they will only break the ones that are printed in Ecuador....I still don't get that!
Anyway, I'm sure we will discover many more things to add to the list when we get out into the community so stay tuned! I'll add more later!
Posted by Anonymous at 7:13 PM