Our second day in Ecuador was meant to be a travel day to Riobamba, but we managed to fit in two tourist spots before hitting the road. First, a quick visit to the equator. A young woman gave us a tour of the site, sharing information about the indigenous tribes who lived (some tribes remain) in the northern regions of Ecuador as well as showing us a few tricks that (apparently) occur at the equator. My brilliant husband was skeptical of the various demonstrations (water draining in different directions on either side of the equator, being unable to walk in a straight line with your eyes closed and arms out on the equator, being physically weaker on the equator) and, after hearing some of his reasoning, I agree, but will leave it to the rest to decide for themselves.
We stopped briefly for a photo op at an old volcano crater, now home to beautiful Ecuadorian farms.
Back at the District Ministry Center we loaded up our bags and set out for Riobamba. On the way we stopped to pick up Jefferson and Rosita. Matt and Kerri-Lynn befriended them during their previous trips to Ecuador and were ecstatic to be reunited with their dear friends. They traveled from Santo Domingo (where Jefferson is a pastor and Rosita is a nurse) to meet up with the group. Jefferson hopped off the bus with his unicycle, excited for this opportunity to do further Kidztown training with churches around Ecuador.
We arrived in Riobamba shortly before supper and settled into our rooms. The higher altitude made for some chilly temperatures. We quickly learned the Spanish word for “cold”, “frio,” and its common use in Riobamba’s nickname “Friobamba.” We also practiced our Spanish numbers by counting off how many layers we wore each day.
The next day we performed our first Kidztown show in 2℃. Jonathan and I were glad for the scarves we purchased at Green Wall Market. The show was exciting, I used a puppet for the first time ever and about 100 people were in attendance. Prior to the show most of us struggled to engage the kids with our minimal Spanish, inspiring us to learn at least a few common phrases and words for future interactions.