"Being together is like catching a sunbeam; each new memory we make reflects light hinting there is more to see and know."

June 7, 2015

WEEK 15 ~ Every day is a new journey

 Coming in on the plane, Quito, Ecuador is such a beautiful place, green and lush with lots of hills and mountains and farming. As soon as we got to the hotel and had a bite to eat, our AAA friend, Arturo Espinoza, came with his wife, Betty, and took us on an auto tour around town and up the hill to the Quito Penecillo with a complete view of the city at night. We are standing next to The Madonna statue overlooking Quito.  Tradition says she is the one that protects the city.  We, as Latter-day Saints, also remember and think this is a sacred place as it was the very spot where President Spencer W. Kimball stood and dedicated the land of Ecuador for the preaching of the Gospel on October 9, 1965. We enjoyed the friendship of the Espinosas as we spent the evening with them in this beautiful and significant capital city of Ecuador.  

 Basilica del Voto Nacional

The next day was even better as we went to the Basilica del Voto Nacional and even climbed the bell/clock tower there on the left all the way to the top. Phew! It really took our breath away with Quito at 9,000 feet. The church was started in 1883 and not dedicated until 1988. The construction continues and legend says when the Basilica is completed, the end of the world will come.

 Cruz Loma Tram
Betty Espinoza took us on the Teleferico tram straight up the hill where we enjoyed the site of Quito during the day spreading in every direction. The height was about 15,000 feet and quite cold with spectacular views. 
Presidential Palace
This palace is used as a home for the family when the cabinet meets or other political business. The presidential address given to the people is also given in this building. It was really nice to see the beautiful gifts on display throughout the rooms given to Ecuador from other countries. We even saw the crystal bowl as a gift from Hillary Clinton. The huge bouquets of beautiful roses, almost 100 roses in one vase, were incredible. Some of the arrangements were arranged with large pieces of driftwood. 

Center of the Earth, the equator just outside Quito. We went to the traditional monument which was quite uninspiring. It was pretty costly to get in but the monument was not much more than a monument and a lot of tourist shops. With a little detective work, we found another rival museum a short walk up the road, the Inti’ Ñan. We really liked that one with better displays and visual experiments to interact with the magnetic forces at work. It was pretty amazing. We saw a sink of water that swirled one way in the north hemisphere, on the line the water went straight down and, on the south of the line the water swirled the opposite direction. There were a few other experiments that defied gravity and reason because we were at the center of the earth.

The displays of tribal life at the Inti Nan represent the ancestral culture in Ecuador, that of the Waorani tribe and also the Quichua people. There are two pictures of real people as of the last five years, people who are currently living in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador. There were ritual artifacts on display as well as hunting, fishing and basic living tools.

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