so i made it, luggage and enthusiasm intact, to quito on monday night.
i will always love that first sight of the city, flying over hills of streaming lights, pooling into valleys...
quito just goes on forever, or so it seems from above.
we landed, a little buffeted by wind, at the new airport outside the centre.
it was slightly more tame than landing at the old airport, which bounced you between a couple mountains and came awfully close to taking along some poor old womans laundry with the landing gear.
i was met by friends, a very welcome sight after the long journey. and also as i was feeling quite conspicuous standing next to a cart piled high with luggage. 'here comes the newbie' it screamed. i was looking enviously at the sensible girl who had compacted everything in a smaller, wheeled, suitcase. too late for packing regrets now. after all, i should be proud to have squished all my life belongings into two (heavy) suitcases.
so we drove back to my friends place, and to be honest everything after that has been something of a blur.
i did have a plan of sorts, to register my visa downtown on tuesday, then quickly travel down to macas and get started on settling in. the ecuadorian government of course had other ideas, and told me to come back on monday to pick up my passport. hm.
on the ground it's just as huge as it looks from the air. its easy to spend an hour getting from one section to another, jumping in and out of buses, taxi's and trolleys. all the while trying to be as aware as possible of your surroundings and wallet.
just a little overwhelming for an already city-exhausted girl.... but at the same time the whirlwind has been a blessing, pushing me every day out of my comfort zone and into the heart of things. there have been a few moments of feeling totally in my element, which gives me hope for the times when everything feels strange and upside-down (the adrenaline junkie in me completely loves flying down the hills on the bus at impossible speeds to soca music).
i've been really blown away by the spirituality of people in ecuador. my friends are in a group that is learning creole to teach the bible to haitians, most of whom are on their way to brazil. but it's been such a treat to be meeting so many interesting people with a hunger to understand the bigger picture. and actually having the answers to give them. that is something i am coming to appreciate the value of more and more. and i'm getting a glimpse again of the kind of joy you can feel when your life is full of this kind of busyness.
now, about leaving canada...
there was so much love and positivity in the past few weeks, and it's true that love is a far greater motivator for change than anything else. feeling supported in so many ways by friends and family gave such a needed boost to be able to tackle this project.
not to mention the hugely exciting and helpful spiritual events that happened just before leaving. assemblies, meetings, and... new bible revision??? amazing.
so here we go. these are the first days. when the overwhelmed-ness dissipates, i'm looking forward to sharing more of the fun of ecuadorian life. (and some new pics!)
hasta la próxima!