Today has truly been one of the longest days of my life. ‘Last night’ was our last night together as a full group – we had a final group reflection and then all piled into one room to hang out until people slowly drifted off to bed. By the time we woke up in the morning, several of the group had left for the airport already for early morning flights, and thus began the very very long day.
We woke up in the hotel in Quito, and got ready to go walking. First we went to see the change of the Guard at the President’s house. There were lots of men in uniform playing brass instruments – their music set was pretty epic. We saw President Correa standing atop the presidential house/balcony. Next we went to an extremely intricate and sort of overwhelmingly decorated church. The walls were covered in gold plate and each wall panel displayed a different mural. Many of the images were extremely harsh, and we spent a while as a group looking at one particular mural depicting the outcomes of sinners in hell – quite violent.
After the church we went out for ice cream and had the largest ice creams of our lives. Immediately following ice cream, we had lunch. Nobody was hungry, which was good, because it was probably the worst lunch of our lives and nobody was able to eat it. Good. After lunch we just laid low in the hotel for a bit/napped etc., and then went out to dinner, which was really awesome. The restaurant was definitely weird (its history was that a man was found dead in its walls), but it had character. Jack, Sarah, Lauren and myself ate downstairs in the kitchen, so were able to watch the cooking process. After dinner, we returned to the hotel, hung for a bit, then grabbed our stuff and left for the airport.
We flew from Quito to Miami. Then all flights to NYC were canceled because of a storm, so we got split up and ultimately I became stuck in Miami with Claire and Sarah for two days. The three of us remained fairly positive – trying to make a ‘girl’s weekend’ out of it, but it is definitely frustrating and I really would like to get back to Ithaca. Right now we are in an airport hotel watching ‘Juno’ – great movie, but I forgot how intense it is. We are about to order Chinese food, and then I think sleep for a really really long time. I can’t believe that we saw President Correa in Quito this morning. Wow.