Audrey O'Connell is one of Spirit's 2017 Volunteer Abroad Ambassador Scholarship winners. She is volunteering at a child-care center in Quito, Ecuador for four weeks through our partner in Ecuador, Fundación Bolivar Education.
Today was my last Spanish lesson, and instead of staying in the classroom, my teacher decided to take me to El Centro Historico! I had an awesome time, and we did wide variety of activities considering we only had about five hours. First, we visited the Basilica Nacional which was absolutely beautiful. We only paid $2 for entry, and we explored it for almost two hours. There were ladders leading up to the tops of the towers, and, although they were a bit intimidating, I climbed all of them because I knew the view would be spectacular. When we got to the top, it was breathtaking. My Spanish teacher and I took so many pictures, and I am very glad that I had the opportunity to go with her. Next, we went to the Contemporary Art Museum, but there were no exhibits in place. We still looked around, even though there were no paintings or sculptures to see. After that, we walked to the Plaza Grande, which is where the President’s house is located. Finally, we walked down some of streets in the historical district, and we ended up looking in a cultural center that has concerts, film screenings, art exhibitions, and more. The best part is that everything is free! We took the bus back to school, and hugged goodbye before I went home for lunch. I cannot be happier about my Spanish lessons this week! Evelyn was such a kind and helpful teacher, and I expanded my vocabulary and grammar through conversations with her.
I went to El Mitad del Mundo with three of my friends today! We woke up rather late, and so we didn’t meet up until about 1:30. My host mom drew us a map of which bus routes to take in order to get there, but we had to rely on talking to people as well because we wanted to make sure we were going in the right direction. After a little under an hour and a half of traveling, we arrived. We paid $8.50 to have access to the monument, museum, and other tourist attractions. I am glad we went, even though it was clearly geared toward tourists. Also, that monument actually isn’t the real equator line; the real equator is apparently very close to where we went, but by the time we finished looking at the monument and museum, we didn’t have time to find the real equator. We still got pictures though! It was close enough… On the way back, we thought we got lost, but we were actually on the right bus. The woman next to me was nice enough to tell me that she was getting off at the same spot, and she would make sure we went in the right direction. We came home in time for dinner and explored the city during the evening.