I made it to Quito. Yesterday was quite an adventure. First, my flight was delayed because of the tropical gunk out in the gulf. Then we had to fly up and around the gunk to get to Miami safely, so the plane was late getting there. The minute I stepped off the plane at 4:03 I started running to catch my 4:05 flight to Quito, but I didn’t make it in time. I watched it pull off without me. Luckily, they had a seat on the 7:55 flight, so I made that one and landed in Quito at 10:55. Unfortunately, my luggage is still in Miami. Let’s hope it gets here today! I’m in the same clothes–a T-shirt (thanks Natasha!) and jeans, and it’s pretty chilly here–around 60-65 degrees. I don’t have a toothbrush, so I’ve been brushing with sticks of sugar-free spearmint gum. Also, in my lost luggage disorientation, I accidentally left my wallet in the cab last night, had a break down in the hotel lobby, and cried in front of the consierge because I couldn’t even pay for my hotel room. Luckily, I came to this hotel to meet Dr. U from Florida State, who is staying in Ecuador this summer, and his brother-in-law. They bailed me out, but the story does have an even happier ending. The taxi driver brought my wallet back! I was so happy to see his face, and I can’t believe he actually drove it all the way back to the hotel for me. And yes, everyone, I’ll be more careful from now on. This incident, and the lady sitting next to me on the plane, make me have a very good impression of the people in Ecuador. When we began our descent to Quito, I noticed how golden the lights were, compared to the white/yellow lights of other cities I have seen from the air at night. I thought they looked like hot embers, and the way they were spread around the base of the mountain, as if lava was pooling there. This morning I found out that the mountain actually IS a volcano. The lights are very beautiful. When we landed, the lady next to me didn’t speak English (and we all know my Spanish is bad) so when she turned to talk to me, her son translated, and she said “Welcome to my country.” I thought that was very sweet and it almost brought tears to my eyes. I’m attaching photos of my day yesterday, and my view from the hotel this morning. Also, the papaya juice was amazing. I’m going shopping today with non-english speakers, so hopefully I’ll learn some Spanish.