"I've been spending my days in Quito doing language school for three weeks while everyone else is in the valley. While at times it gets a little lonesome without the crew, whom I bonded with literally upon arrival, I have been enjoying getting to know this massive city. Coming from Boulder, I´m not use to tall buildings, busy streets, hurried people. However I am easing my way into the chaos.
Yesterday was my first day exploring on my own taking public transportation, hailing cabs, asking locals for directions, etc. After a day of thrilling success I woke up this morning anticipating the same luck. To my dismay, I was kidding myself, to say the least. On the agenda was simply to venture into Old Town, check out the basilica, and make it back for class by 1:30. I hopped on a bus, and before I knew it was no where to be found on the hand held map I grasped in my palm. I quickly departed and began staring off into the midst of surrounding skyscrapers when a local Ecuadorian, at least 60 years old, asked what it was I was looking for. Upon telling him I was trying to find the basilica he insisted on escorting me the whole 25 minute walk through all kinds of hills and winding streets, enthralled by my Spanish ¨skills¨ or lack there of, (its hard to say,) literally to the front steps of the church, thank god, I never would have found it. And thank god, it was a maravillosa.
With the calculated perfect amount of time to return for class I headed in what I was now certain was the right direction to catch a bus back to my neighborhood. As I approached the doors to enter the parada, I was informed that the bus was not functioning and I would have to catch another line that may or may not be headed in the direction I needed to go, a blue one would be "best". I dogged the traffic of the maniac drivers that travel these streets and was lucky enough to find a blue bus that slowed down long enough for me to ask if it was heading in the right direction. With a rather ambiguous response I jumped on, bus still in motion, and crossed my fingers that I hadn't just purchased a non stop fair to the coast.
With broken Spanish, lots of patience, and a trying smile, the driver told me when to hop off and that I was now closer to home than I had been before. Perfect, right? Well 10 minutes till class and I had no idea where I was. Street names all ringing a bell, but not a single building I had seen before. Again I threw my head back wondering which direction next. A few more blocks, another corner, and finally, I saw the sign of an all too familiar travel agency I pass by everyday ´Happy Gringo¨. And that was when I realized I was home again. But not just home to the neighborhood I have been living in for the last two weeks, or home to the still foreign city I have been exploring, but home to what it is that I am doing for the next year, home to the experiences that will fill each of my days, and home to an adventure that has already been so fulfilling and satisfying, that I literally can not wait to get lost again."