My dear husband and I went on a mission trip to Ecuador in July. We went to our international missionaries annual conference and did a VBS for the kids. We went down there a day early so we could get acclimated. Quito is about 9500 feet above sea level so the air is thinner! Our friend Julie told us that it took months for her to be able to sing and get deep breathes so I don't know if one day made much of a difference. Really the main difference for me was that I could only sleep for a few hours at a time and then I would need to breathe deeply for a while. When we got home I slept for a week it seemed like. This is the view from our hotel. It was beautiful. This was taken in the morning from the top floor of Hotel Quito.
The first day our missionary friends took us to lunch in Mariscal at Red Hot Chili Peppers. I think it was the best restaurant that we went to the entire trip. It was definitely the best guacamole I ever had. Next we went to the Indian Market. Great for good buys. I bought a beautiful piece of handmade copper and gemstone jewelry. They had t-shirts, jewelry, pottery, purses, and many other handcrafted items. They sell fresh fruit and flowers on the streets for $1.00. The flowers were amazing. These lilies were everywhere in our hotel as well as roses.
The next day after we set up our rooms we went to Mitad del Mundo. This is a monument on the Equator. Lat/Long 0 degrees. The monument is actually a museum that showcases the many different people of Ecuador. Here is my dear hubby in front of the monument.
There are a lot of shops at the Equator and we bought several things for souvenirs there at good prices.
There is a shop that sells silver that I did not go to but my friend bought a necklace and a sterling silver Ecuador charm there for a really good deal. So check these shops out if you go. It is not like in the US where the shops near historical places are really high! There are some high prices but if you are careful you can get a good deal here.
The traffic is wild here. Taxis are reasonable and everywhere it seems. Don't try to find one at rush hour though. The drivers are very nice, in fact, the people are very nice and have wonderful manners.
This is a view near the Pool at our hotel. We only swan a couple of times because at night it is much cooler there. We loved eating outside at the hotel. They had really great fruit and juices. The guava and pineapple juice were great. You are not as hungry there it seems. I think it has to do with the altitude. We had pizza from Dominoes one night. It was good but not the same as we are used to.
These are the wonderful kids we got to teach at our VBS. We had eight teachers on our team. Our VBS was a sports theme and it was amazing how much more important soccer is in South America.
The kids were all really sweet and had a really great bond between them all like a close family. We were nervous the first day of how things would go and by the last day we were disappointed we had to leave them. If you have a chance to go on a mission trip that you feel like God has called you to go on - DO IT! It is hard to leave your family for even a week but it will be worth it to be part of reaching the world.