Wow! A lot has happened since I last blogged. I apologize for not being able to post early but we have not had an Internet connection and I didn’t bring my computer into the Amazon. I am going to break this down into the three separate blogs by the areas that we have visited since I last posted on September 13th. We have been above 12,000 feet at the foot of the Cotopaxi Volcano, in the Northern Highlands near Columbia in the town of Otavalo, and in the Amazonian Rainforest near Coca, which is the Eastern part of Ecuador. I will post the first one tonight September 25, 2010.
However, first I would like to talk about an incident that has presented a challenge to our travels. On our second day in Quito we were robbed of our passports, some credit cards, and a little money. Now when I say robbed I don’t mean a band of ninjas jumped out of the shadows and took my wallet at sword point. No, I mean we were pick-pocketed. It happened on our way from Mitad de Mundo (Equator). I take responsibility for the blunder. I always (almost) wear my money, passport, and other stuff against my skin around my neck. Unfortunately, in this instance I had taken something out of my pouch and shoved it into my backpack. Not only was the pouch in the wrong place we were also in the worst possible place to make this error, the public trolley (bus). The backpack was between our legs pressed against the wall of the bus. Somehow the pickpockets got between our legs, unzipped the pack, and removed my pouch and sunglasses. I have to give them credit. They were pretty good. At first I was really angry and frustrated. If only I had taken the precautions that I usually take everything would have been fine. At this point I had a choice to make about whether I was going to let this bother me and ruin our trip or chalk it up as a new experience. I choose to let go of the anger and ask myself what I could learn from this. Situations in life are presented to you for a reason and God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. Yes it was a pain to file a police report and to fill out all the paperwork for new passports but in the end, we got the opportunity to get a tour of Quito in a couple of police vehicles, visit an Ecuadorian Police Station, and the U.S. Embassy. This was great fun for the boys and their parents.