Exploration Day in Quito

Saturday, July 11, 2015

After breakfast on Saturday, we gathered for our last worship service together.

Luis reported that there had been 86 professions of faith in Christ during our efforts, more than doubling our number.

The Northshore group filled these first two rows. Front row: Abbie Lockwood, Hannah Robert, Jhanne Stasney, Paul, Jordan Nave. Second row: Luis Socarras, Alex Lockwood with Dustin Jackson behind, Ashleigh Nave, Michael Stasney and Oksana.

We had recognition of Crew Leaders and other special contributions. Alex and Ashleigh were recognized for their part in the art instruction and art show.

We had cleared our rooms and loaded our luggage aboard two buses. We then set our across Quito toward a volcano.

I again enjoyed watching the changes in the houses built up on the hillsides.

We passed an art school, and there was about a mile of mural along the security fence. This one was political "From where come the wars and lawsuits? Are they not from our passions?"

Note the spikes on top of the wall.

A flagstone sidestreet in an area a little further from the center of Quito.

I was interested in life along the sidewalk. Casual, with lots of little shops and an occasional street vendor.

We reached the viewpoint where we could look down into the crater of volcano Pululahua. The name means "cloud of water" in the Quichua indigenous language, and the only evidence we could see that this was a volcano was the ever-moving cloud of mist over the peak.

When we stood on the edge of the crater of Pululahua, we were looking at a part of the crater that is about 4km (2.5 miles) across and 300 meters deep. The last eruption of the volcano is dated at 467BC, but it is still classified as an active volcano. It is one of very few active volcano craters in the world that is inhabited, and may be the only one where there is cultivation.

Our group with our World Changer T-shirts made quite a crowd on the edge of the crater.

There were some very intriguing hiking trails both up and down, but we didn't have time to explore those.

Part of our Northshore group with Luis and Kelly Davis on the edge of the crater.

Down inside the crater, the scene looked like typical farm land. Never mind that it is 9000 feet in the air and nearly a thousand feet down inside the crater of an active volcano!

We had a time for group photos while up on the volcano, and this one of the Northshore group was taken with Luis' phone.

After our volcano visit we descended a short distance to the Museo Intiņan which sits right on the Equator.

Our group descended on this Ecuadoran culture museum with our "One" T-shirts. There were lots of artifacts and reconstructions of Ecuadoran history.

Michael and Jhanne Stasney pose in front of what I'd guess we could call Ecuadoran totem poles. Luis tries a selfie with them.

Just outside the museum entrance they had a small pen with a couple of alpacas and a couple of sheep.

We were all a bit nervous about getting too close to the alpacas, because we have more experience with llamas, which are larger and meaner. You always have to worry about a llama spitting on you, but these alpacas were very gentle and peaceful.

There were lots of varieties of cactus and flowers that were unfamiliar to me, so I enjoyed the gardens.

Our guide told us about Amazon animals including snakes and spiders, and spent a good bit of time talking about the Amazon headhunters. They not only shrunk the heads of their human victims, but shrunk animal bodies as well.

We explored the interior of a grass-thatched house. Of the things hung over our heads, there were two 8-foot blowguns for firing poison darts.

We were shown a burial chamber with lots of gourd and pottery utensils.

Paul gets a good look at the burial site as our guide explains about the vessels present there.

Jordan, Rod and Ashleigh on the red line that marked the precise equator line.

On the Equator

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