So two of the girls on my trip started a blog and I decided to start one on my own (1st one ever!) for the sake of keeping my travel "adventures" documented.
So here it goes...
After leaving AZ at 9 p.m. on Thursday night and three different flights (AZ-CA-Panama-Quito) I got to Quito on Friday around 2:30 p.m. (Ecuador time, which is 3 hrs ahead of CA, and 2 ahead of AZ). I was the 1st one of the 5 students on the program: 4 women (Anina, Emily, Jessica and myself), and 1 male (Alex, who also goes to Oxy). The program director, Maria, and her husband, Chris, picked me up and dropped me off at the Hostel de Santa Barbara because they had to continue to pick up the rest of the students. It was nice to have some time to relax, (and take what ended to be 4 hr nap) before they came. I ended up eating dinner with Maria afterwards and watched CNN en espanol til the rest of the girls came, which didn't end up being until 10:30 p.m. at night (unfortunately Alex's flight was canceled due to storms in San Fransisco--he has yet to arrive).
Today, I woke up, had breakfast with the girls (the traditional pan con leche), and started la tarea de Orientacion, which was to take the bus to El Centro Comercial "El Bosque" and buy some cookies. This was quite the adventure let me tell ya because we had to ask people for directions and most people told us different things. We (Anina and me) soon figured out that bus drivers were the most reliable source for directions. This came in super handy when we accidently got off at the wrong stop and the driver told us to get back on (ha, would have been awesome to get lost on the first day!). Buses are only 25 cents here, so cheap! Ecuador uses US currency by the way, that's pretty nice. And most things are relatively the same price as in the US, except for the toothpaste I had to buy (it was only 68 cents)!
Quito is very green (a nice change from AZ) with many beautiful flowers. Ecuadorians are quite friendly, the guys especially, haha. I'm looking forward to the 2nd real day: more orientation, a trip to a museum, and meeting my homestay family!!