These pictures are from some time spent in Quito on my way back to the US from Ecuador this past April. I had a long layover so I spent most of the day with a family friend. While we were driving home in the evening I got these pictures of kids hopping in the back of the truck. Whenever the vehicle slowed down or came to a stop more kids hopped in. Before they all finally jumped out and ran away there were 18 of them in riding in back. The only pictures I could get were with my iPhone towards the beginning, they all shyed away when they saw me get my camera out.
Growing up in the United States, I knew the guinea pig as a less common but not too unusual household pet. But I also remember when I was younger my father telling me that he used to eat guinea pig when he lived in Ecuador. As far as I knew it wasn’t too uncommon for people in the US to have a guinea pig as a pet, and it wasn’t any less common for people in Ecuador to eat one as a meal. In my previous trips to Ecuador my cousins had always told me that I should try cuy (as guinea pig is referred to here), but I just never really got around to it.
Well in that regard this trip is different. My brother and I spent a weekend at a vacation house our friend has in the mountains. While we were there we got our first taste of cuy.
Preparing the cuy to put them on the spit. We had two to feed five people.
We were playing rummy while waiting for the food to cook. The cuy have to be turned on a spit for about an hour and fifteen minutes until their done. We had four people playing three-handed rummy, so we decided that whoever lost had to rotate the spit during the next game.
My brother also got a turn on the spit.
Once they were cooked we got a quick picture of everybody with the food.
Then eventually we ate the cuy with potatoes and eggs.
I know almost everybody I know in the US is going to think I’m crazy but the cuy was actually pretty good. The skin gets a lot crunchier than you’d expect after it’s cooked, but the meat is pretty good. For those who’d ask I’d say it’ doesn’t taste like chicken, the meats a bit chewier, and darker than chicken. It’s a fairly heavy meal so it’s not something you’d eat every day (and most people don’t).
I bought these keychains yesterday. I thought they were a decent deal at $5.25 for the pair. I plan to actually use one for my keys when i get to Seattle, the other will just become a small decoration I suppose.
The one on the left is of a Deportivo Cuenca jersey, which is our local team here in the Ecuadorian premier league, and the one on the right is the logo of the Ecuadorian soccer federation, which is the logo of the national team.
I tried to start up the Pandora app on my iPhone today only to receive the following message. I totally forgotten about licensing agreements and the fact that Pandora might not function outside of the US. I guess they don’t have licensing agreements to stream music in Ecuador. It’s understandable, but I still would have like to listen to some music…
A couple weeks a go my cousin was talking to me about concerts, and was telling me about a band that was coming to play a concert here in Cuenca. After a couple tries (she wasn’t sure how to pronounce the English word) I figured out that she was saying the band’s name was “the Doors”. I balked at the idea pretty much immediately, and told her the Doors couldn’t be coming to Cuenca (because why would they come here, not Quito or Guayquil, much larger cities) and because their lead singer was dead. I figured it just had to be some Ecuadorian (or other) band that for some reason had decided to use the same name, or maybe a tribute band.
Well yesterday I came across this promotional poster for the concert. Turns out it actually is the Doors, or at least two original members and “3 other guys” filling out the band. The lead singer for this tour is actually Brett Scallions, who you may know as the lead singer of the band Fuel.
I went to the mall in Cuenca yesterday and happened to come across some iPhone imitators. First I walked through a “computer fair” that was going on in the mall conference center. The fair was basically people just trying to sell computers, or displaying stuff they sold elsewhere.
I found this box, which was clearly fake. It just says “3G” on the side in small print. If you look closely, the cover of the box also shows a stylus. Lameeeeeee.
Then I walked past one of the actual stores in the mall and saw these two boxes on display. I think it’s even funnier how the actual phones (on display in front of the boxes) look absolutely noting like the pictures on the boxes. Also these are crazy cheap compared to the real iPhone here. The 8GB is sold for $799 and the 16GB is sold for $899. They’re that expensive because they’re sold without a service contract, you just buy the phone and then their pay as you go.
I got this text message from Movistar, my cell phone provider in Ecuador. It says that for 20 cents plus taxes I can have my voting location texted to me. All I do have to do is text them my Government ID number (similar to a US Driver’s License number).
I don’t know if there were any applications like this set up in the US for the 2008 election. Would it be cool/useful if there were?
Regardless of what I think of the politics or politicians of either country, as the son of an Ecuadorian father and American mother, it’s very cool for me to see the presidents of both countries in the same picture. United States President Barack Obama is on the left pointing, and Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa is standing on the right facing left.
Photo: Washington Post
For anybody who’s curious, this is where I’ve been living for the past three months.
My brother, grandfather, and I drove North to Quito to meet up with my father to go see the Ecuadorian national team’s World Cup qualifying matches against Brasil and Paraguay. Here are a few quick photos I took on my phone. I’ll have to wait until I get back to the US to post the rest of the pictures and some of the videos because the net connection here just can’t handle that.
A huge Ecuadorian flag
My brother (with his face paint and headband) and grandfather
The stadium was full of people in yellow Ecuador jerseys