Our first day in Quito was packed with adventure from beginning to end!Our friend, Rene from Zatara, and two of her kids (Jack and Anna), and me and our four creatures, boarded a comfy bus at 10:45pm on Friday night for $6.50 a ticket.
We reclined our seats, fell asleep and woke at 5:45am when we arrived in Quito. We noticed that the bus terminal was at the airport – aside from that we had no idea where we were, and were completely content with that. We knew we wanted to explore Old Town Quito, so we set in search of transportation and found a bus that would take us there. While standing line for tickets, a taxi driver made us a sweeter deal, so we followed him out to the two waiting taxi’s. A few minutes into our drive Rene realized she’d left her glasses on the bus, so we turned around and began searching for the bus we’d been on. Her glasses weren’t in lost and found at the bus terminal, and the bus wasn’t at the main hub, but while driving we spotted it parked by a big metal building, so the taxi driver jumped out of his taxi at a traffic light and ran over to find it. A few minutes later, after lots of hooting cars had gone on their way, Rene and her glasses were reunited and all was well in Ecuador.
As we arrived in the Old Town section half an hour later, the kids spotted a McDonalds which they hadn’t seen in many months, and we were dropped off there.
While eating a breakfast of champions, I contacted our friend, Rex Head, who has a wonderful organization called OSSO (orphanage support services organization). They support orphanages and have an amazing volunteer program. Rex and his beautiful wife, Melodie, have hearts of gold and have had such a massive positive impact in so many lives. Check them out online if you’re interested in volunteering. I asked Rex if we could help at an orphanage anywhere in Quito, and he made arrangements for us so that we could.
From the second we arrived at Ramar to the moment we left, we had beautiful children in our arms, holding hands with us, playing games and giving hugs.
We left our backpacks up in a bedroom and made our way through the rooms and hallways to find a place where we could play.
It felt so good to be back. The last orphanage I had been in was in Belize, which was just too long ago. We have so much love to give, but always come away feeling and overflowing of love from the children…far more than we offered.
We went outside to an open courtyard, where Aidan and Jack played soccer with a bunch of boys.
They had so much fun.
We played on the playground equipment for a while.
Giggles and smiles and expressions of love have no language barriers.
Mycah fell in love with a baby girl named Scarlet, held her close, cried for a bit and showed her lots of love.
Such a precious angel, holding a precious little angel.
Jude was mauled by two sweet little girls,
Anna was kept captive too,
Emma was taken by hand and led around the entire place for quite some time.
We gathered all the kids in a circle and played duck duck goose, which was so fun.
After lots more cuddling and playing,
If I would have been allowed, I would have taken a baby home with me.
We took a nice big group shot, hugged and kissed the munchkins goodbye and headed to the grocery store with the orphanage managers.
We bought over 300 lbs of rice, as well as various other supplies for the orphanage, and sent it back with them. We feel so blessed to be able to have had the opportunity to spend some time with the children.
We walked down several streets in search of Mercado Artesanal La Mariscal, a local market.
The streets were lined with beautiful buildings,
Finally we found the market and loved chatting with the locals and admiring their handiwork.
We of course had to get our beautiful granddaughter, Zailyn, some stylish Ecuadorian clothes! Aidan bought himself a spiffy hat.
Cute little kids played around while their parents worked.
We walked through a park with art work for sale,
chatted with vendors,
ate street food,
And acted like tourists…just a little.
By the time we reached our hostel, our feet hurt and we were completely exhausted. What a great day!!!