My journey to a foreign land Rotating Header Image

Bumps along the lined roads of Quito…

On Monday night (12 de abril) I had convinced myself I was going to take the next plane possible home.  There were many factors: First, the one I least expected.  I missed Cusco.  It had in some weird way without me knowing become my new home.  I missed all the familiarity of it – the house, the family, the food, and my normal walk to and from school.  I am really missing my family there, Belinda especially.

My new (now old) host family was not helping either.  The house was massive, dark, and cold; the people the same, just smaller.  There voices never going below a yell, my ears hurt at the breakfast, lunch, and dinner table.

They also lived very far from the school and my volunteer work.  I had an hour commute every morning from home to the volunteer project.

Smoking was one of their favorite activities too.  The house was filled with smoke, making it difficult to breathe.

I told the school about these and that I would like to move host families.  The man in charge of placement was very diplomatic when he called Silvia to tell her that I was moving because, “His group of friends all live at the school and he wants to live closer,” partially true, but the least of my worries.  I packed my things quickly and got out of Dodge as fast as I could.  My new father picked me up and took me to my new Quito home.  An apartment building, where they own the floor and I have my own bathroom.  It is bright and welcoming.  The front door is an elevator (there are stairs in case of fire, but just saying there is an elevator sounds more glamorous) that I have a special key for to go to our floor.  The views are incredible – once I have photos, I will post them.

I am trying something new in Quito.  I am only going to keep my camera on me the last week of my stay.  I am only experiencing Quito now, not snapping pictures at every interesting thing I see.  I am enjoying my little tourist experience.

I am not sure if this is cultural, even if it is I could not live with it, my first host family has a employee that helps cook, clean, and other jobs around the house.  She is a black woman who they only address by, “Negra,” meaning black woman.  I can definitely feel the racial divide between the black population and the population descending from the Andes.  The children in school will play together but when tensions raise racial slurs come out and feelings are really hurt.  Tonight at dinner, I was explaining that this afternoon I was walking around one the parks just admiring the scenery and enjoying alone time.  When I mentioned I was alone I was told that it was unsafe because a group of black men could come up and that would be dangerous.

-Picked up two weeks later-

My host father refers to my host mom, his wife, only as “mi mujer” which means my woman.  The machismo culture is much more prevalent here than it was in Cusco.  I am still searching for the reason behind this.  I grow tire of it though and it makes me only anticipate my return home even more.

1 Comment on “Bumps along the lined roads of Quito…”

  1. #1 Mama Gilliam
    on May 4th, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    We are going to visit Belinda!