*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.