I’m almost to Cuellaje, the village in Intag where I will meet the director, Eduardo. The journey thus far has been an adventure and filled with very kind people. I flew out of Miami yesterday and sat next to two Ecuadorians who let me practice Spanish with them and helped pass the time with interesting conversations. The gentleman to my left was surprisingly knowledgeable about the corruption in US society, but still insisted it was the best country in the world; I decided to reserve judgement until I had seen more of the world. With a parting reminder not to drink the water and directions through customs, we parted ways and I gathered my luggage and went to find Chari. Chari and Felix are Eduardo’s personal friends and they kindly picked me up at 0:00 from the airport. Chari drove me to the bus stop at 5:45 in the morning so I could get to Otavalo in time to get a ticket to Cuellaje. Unfortunately, they were sold out for today, which means I will take the bus tomorrow. So, I found a hostal and took a nap.
Saturdays are market days, in which the streets of Otavalo are filled with booths covered in handmade clothes, bowls, paintings, jewelry, etc. It was a great opportunity to buy a few things for my family and experience a clash of cultures. The booth owners were very smart, as soon as I walked up to the booth, they sent the children to act as salesman. When I asked one little girl if she enjoyed working on Saturdays she said yes because she got to keep some of the money. A very clever tactic to entice me, the ‘blancita’ to buy whatever they are selling.
Now it’s time to find some food, call my mother, and turn in early to continue my journey tomorrow!