“Center”

Kjetil and I waited on line to get through customs and after a few minutes we ran into Franky and Amanda whose flight had just landed. Tony and Nikola had landed about an hour earlier and we found them with my mom’s cousin Angelito.

I think the last time I saw him was maybe when I was three but I knew he was family right away. The resemblance to my mom’s brothers is uncanny. 

La gente de Quito son muy humildes.”

The taxi driver who brought Kjetil and I to the airport on Thursday was from Ecuador and something he said has rung true so far. That the people of Quito are very humble. We all crammed in Angelito’s car and he brought us to our hostel where we arrived around two in the morning.

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Angelito said he would return around 11 the next morning to help us get to any place we may be planning to visit. We were sold on staying at El Hostelito mainly for its affordability but this hostel goes beyond that. There’s something tricky about staying somewhere with qualities that exceeds just being a bed for the night.

Kjetil and Amanda eating breakfast in the hostel’s backyard.

Kjetil and Amanda eating breakfast in the hostel’s backyard.

Tony and Niki working while eating breakfast inside. 

Tony and Niki working while eating breakfast inside. 

If it didn’t keep me from exploring the city, I could spend the entire day at this place. When Angelito arrived he brought us to El Mitad del Mundo or The Middle of the World. 

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I knew my brothers and I had been here before from photos of us as kids but I don’t have much memory of this. Angelito told us that the last time he saw us was during that time. 

Angelito standing on the vista of the monument. 

Angelito standing on the vista of the monument. 

This place was created as part of the French Geodesic Mission in the 18th century to measure the length of the latitude around the earth. With advancements in technology, it was later proven that the scientists were off by about 240 meters. Still, El Mitad del Mundo is surrounded by a little town filled with restaurants and stores to buy clothes or chachkies. And the fact that we would experience this place again with Angelito after so many years is what makes visiting significant.

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