While Sunday was the Vanderbilt spring break group's first official day, I spent Sunday en route from the states (as you know from my whining yesterday) and so joined the crew officially today. 7am found me on our "new" Manna bike riding down to the local bakery for some fresh bread for breakfast, soaking up the most beautiful Ecuadorian morning I've seen in a long time.
After breakfast, we all headed out the door, hopped on a few busses, and ended up at the base of the basillica, one of the most famous and beautiful churches in downtown Quito. We climbed (for what seemed like ages) up into the very top spires and soaked in the views, then made our way over to Plaza del Gobierno (which I'm referring to as Plaza of the Government because I can't pull the actual name, which I'm sure Craig will supply for me in the comments), timing it just right to catch the changing of the guard. After getting our fill of the plazas, and witnessing a strange parade/protest with rottweilers and pit bulls, we spent a good hour wandering through the artesan market in the mariscal, where the girls got to practice their bargining skills.
After grabbing a typical almurezo across the street, we headed out to the Valle for our afternoon of programs (Apoyo & Children's English) and a walking tour of the community, then swung by the house for a few minutes of downtime before heading back out for dinner at Jenny and Alfredo's house, a local couple who Dunc and Eliah know well from the small business class.
Overall it was one of those Ecuadorian days where as you walk back to the house at night and think about what you did that morning, it feels like 3 days has passed between. Welcome to the chaos that is spring break! We couldn't be more excited.