Sunday, October 24, 2010
Birthday, Road Race, Pifo= muy cansada (very tired)
Although I did not travel this weekend, this has been one of the best weekends yet. It all began Thursday night when family came in from Guayaquil and we were cooking up a storm for a ten o'clock dinner. It was great to meet new people and immediately be welcomed into the extended family. On Friday, we all woke up to go to celebrate Estefania's (my little ecua sister) birthday at her school. We bought a cake and candies and a pinata. We had the best time setting up and awaiting her grand entrance. That was fiesta #1... after which we went to the mall for a bit (at least us girls did). I left to go all over Quito to find my new running shoes that I had purchased online. They were being held hostage in a post office to the south of where I live. It should have been easy to get there, but in typical Ecuadorian style there was a protest and the police had shut down one of the streets. Thankfully, I got to the post office, rescued my shoes and returned to the house. We had dinner with the family and fiesta #2 (which also means cake #2). Then, we left to drive through the city at night, which is gorgeous. I am falling in love with Quito...But my extended family continues to joke on me because I, a silly gringa that has been here for 2 months, know Quito better than my host family, or at least some places. That's what you get for walking everywhere or taking public transport. You may get lost but you learn to navigate this gigantic city.
On Saturday I enjoyed my cup of coffee and God's Word in the silence of the morning, which are my favorite times in Quito. The mornings are so beautiful! Then, we all had a good breakfast and headed to the artisan market. My host mom had never been and we both had fun buying scarves and bargaining for the best deals. I think that she will be returning soon. We went back to the apartment to make the best shrimp tacos ever and spend hours talking and laughing.
After washing the dishes and cleaning up, I got ready to race in the 10k Nike race We Run Quito 2010. It was a 7pm. race starting off near my house. It was so cool to be jogging across the city to get to the starting line and to see tons of neon shirts (the race shirts we were given) coming from all directions. There were 7,000 runners and the atmosphere was crazy! We started and a shout "Viva Quito" (Live Quito) was heard during the first kilometer, to which everyone answers "Viva!" It was so much fun. There were stages for music groups and lights shows. There were people lining the streets. I ran by a guy dressed up as a monkey. And we finished in the middle of the park by my apartment. I quickly got my glow-in-the-dark medallion, blanket, and bag, grabbed a cup of canalazo and jogged back to the apartment for fiesta #3 (yes, there was a cake #3 as well). At the house, family just kept coming through the door. And with every family member came introductions and kisses. It was a great party. Shrimp, cheese, cake, and great family members. Karaoke followed and we sang late into the night.
On Sunday I woke up early to take the bus to Pifo, where I lived the last time that I was here in Ecuador, to visit my friend. My heart was so happy to be walking the same streets and I had forgotten how much I love that little town. Everything and everyone looked the same. We walked to church, enjoyed the service, and ate Chinese food for lunch. After lunch and brownies, we went up the hill to 700 steps which are the steps that take you down and up a pipeline. We all dared each other to walk them without stopping. And we made it, huffing and puffing. We sat at the top of the opposite hill to look down on the valley. It began to rain but we didn't mind. We just sat there in silence, enjoying the beautiful country. The country I love...
Full weekend, but a wonderful one. Good time with family, especially the times washing dishes with my host mom. Check off the bucket list, running a road race 3,016 meters above sea level. And reuniting with friends in a small town. Wonderful weekend.