This is my first post on this blog/using this interface, so bear with me. I was supposed to start this blog on June 1st, when Iwas originally scheduled to arrive in Ecuador, but then life happened, so I had to sit tight and be patient. I was scheduled for today, but due to factors like weather and airplane mechanical problems, I am stateside and waiting in Chicago. I've been rescheduled to leave tomorrow, so for now I am spending the day reading and hopping between coffee shops, awaiting my 5am flight. I should get into Quito in the afternoon, and then I will get a taxi and/or bus to get into the city. Thankfully I only have a carry-on bag, it would be a hassle with a large suitcase.
The city of Quito sits at 9,350ft (2850m) above sea level in the Andean highlands, with a population of around 2,600,000 people. It's the highest capital city in the world and is at the base of the active Pinchacha volcano (15,696ft).The city is very close to the equator (zero latitude) and attracts many who hope to see "la mitad del mundo" (the middle of the world) to get that iconic photo of straddling the equator in the historic center of the city.
I will be farther away from the touristy areas though, at the northern tip of the city. My Spanish skills are pretty good, I'm always wary to say fluent, but spending a year between high school and college living in Concepción, Paraguay really helped. After a few google searches for local NGOs, a few rounds of email tag, and a wonderful recommendation from a good family friend, I wound up planning for this summer in Quito. I am very excited to get back into Spanish again and get the experience working in a local not-for-profit. Plus, I am excited to hear Quechua and learn more about its linguistic history. I'm a sucker for languages; I've dabbled in several and I enjoy learning about their history/grammar/linguistic ties, even if I can't speak them. I may have a passion for learning languages, but that doesn't mean I'm fluent in English all the time. Sometimes (i.e. often) I have absolutely no clue what language I'm speaking/thinking in. ;)
I plan to use this blog to write about my experiences during my time at CMT, and to journal about my daily life in Quito. Part of me still can't believe I'm going, I think it will kick in when I'm on the plane. I am so excited!
I wish everyone a wonderful weekend.
An aspiring polyglot and globetrotter, an avid reader, and a lover of good food. :)