Saturday, February 03, 2007

Quito moments

I'm home safe and sound from Ecuador, where we conducted a site feasibility study for the New Manna Ecuador site (beginning in September 2007). I absolutely loved Ecuador. Here's a sort of stream-of-consciousness collection (hardly complete) of our time there.

*Florists in the city (Florerias) selling buches of roses, lilies and callalilies for $1.

*The cool mountain air, the azure of the sky from two miles above sea level- a brilliant, bright, crisp, sapphire blue.

*My lungs burn from walking in the hilly city.

*The bustle of the streets- ice cream vendors and street kids running around wanting to polish our shoes and women selling herbs and flowers on the side of the road.

*The elderly man in his dignified grey suit and top hat helping a little girl feed the pigeons in Plaza San Francisco.

*Women with woolen shawls and traditional hats and long hair wrapped in a single, hanging braid.

*Sleeping babies strapped to their mothers by hand-knit woolen shawls- feet peeking out of the bottom of their cocoon. Little bodies, tightly wrapped up and safe on their mothers’ backs.

*Brightly colored hand knit scarves, moccasins and hats sold in the open-air markets- indicative of the chilly Andean air.

*The sharp, snow-topped peak of Cotopaxi, standing proud and stately in the distance.

*The city itself, narrow and long and lively, sandwiched between the green Andes mountains.

*Open markets bursting with fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, berries, mangoes, barrels and barrels of rice and beans.

*The hush of peaceful Santa Isabel- the quiet, slow pace of life that comes with the countryside.

*The lofty, grand presence of the Virgin Mary statue, el Panecillo, visible high on the hill from anywhere in Quito.

*The cathedrals, glowing at night with rich yellow lights -emitting a soft steady light, whispering of history and a quiet elegance.

*Sharing our excitement with several non-profit organizations in Ecuador about the new Manna site in Quito… and knowing that in September 2007 we’ll be returning.

Photos of Quito, Ecuador

Here are photos from Manna Project's 11 days in Quito...

For more info, check out:

Cathedral in Old Quito

Manna crew in Quito

View of Quito from the gondola

Front yard of Casa Victoria

Austen and I after helping out with construction at Casa Victoria

Kids at Tierra Nueva daycare center

Mark, Luke and I overlooking Sur Quito

Church in Old Quito

Another cathedral

Kids at UBECI program in Sur Quito