Recap of a week in Quito

 My first week in the bustling city that is Quito just came to an end. It came by so fast, but then again time seemed to pass so slowly; so many things happened! From learning how to navigate a crazy bus system full of interesting adventures to exploring the historical center of the city que esta tan hermoso (and, fun fact, the old town also has 34 churches in a single square kilometer), I’ve seen parts of Ecuadorian life that made me appreciate the local culture as well as its welcoming vibe even more.

People are just so warm, so humane. One day, I took the bus alone for the first time (which by the way doesn’t stop for you to hop in; you literally have to RUN to catch it!) and I ended up at the wrong stop. A couple of people immediately saw that I was a gringo and, without me asking for help, pointed me toward the language school where I had to go. Who would do that elsewhere, in North America?

I had the chance to see Quito from La Basilica del Voto Nacional , which is the largest neo-gothic basilica in the Americas. I saw it from La Virgen de Quito , which is a 41 meter statue donated to the country in 1971 by Spain. I saw it from El Palacio de Cristal , which is a huge event venue made out of glass panels overlooking the north of the city, where I currently reside. They also have this park on the runway of the old airport where you can see old legendary airplanes, like Hercules, DC-3 and others, alongside people of all ages playing football or volleyball.

I also had a bit of a taste of the nightlife! Our group went out two nights in a row, and we ate local as well as Venezuelan, Colombian, Peruvian and Mexican food. I got to know the more modern hotspots of the capital, like La Aldea , a bar where my host brother gave a rock concert along with two other bands; that night was LIT I swear!

There was also my first terremoto experience, which happened on Sunday night. To be honest, I didn’t react immediately, and neither did my host sister; we just taught that the Conjuring 2 had suddenly taken on a 4D twist! It was quite literally an experience that left me shaking. I really admire the Quiteños because this type of events constitutes their daily routine and an everyday reality.

Bustling with life, Quito is breathtaking to watch and to experience. This place, the people, the rhythm in the air, the language; everything feels like home, and this only after a week. I can’t imagine how I’ll be looking at this part of the world in 7 months.