This morning I had my interview at CICLOPOLIS. I met Martha, the program director, at the HECUA office at 9:30 (my interview was at 10), and we didn’t end up leaving until around 9:50 (which is typical Ecuadorian time). By the time we had gone back to the office to pick up some forgotten papers, driven past the correct street, got stuck on a one way, and drove about 10 minutes out of the way…I got to the interview at about 10:15. Which was totally fine, by the way. The interview was quick and easy, we just went over what I will be doing and we talked about the dates I’ll be gone because of fieldtrips, breaks, etc. CICLOPOLIS is a sweeet organization, let me tell you. I don’t think I saw a single person over the age of 30 there! My “boss” is probably in her early 20’s, somewhere around my age. It’s a really up-beat organization. I’ll be working with Todas in Bici, which is a sector of the organization that promotes bike riding for women. This semester we are supposed 20 hours a week with our internships. My hours will mostly be spent on the weekends, which I feel is both good and bad. It’s good because the things I’ll be doing will be great! On Friday mornings, I’ll meet with a group of women over food/coffee and chat to build relationships and what not. Saturday morning we give lessons (to mostly these same women) on how to ride a bike, bike safety in the city, answer any questions they have. And then Sunday is the Ciclopaseo, which I described earlier as the citywide bike ride. These will all be awesome events. I’ll work one other morning (by morning I mean about 10 am) during the week, probably doing a bit of office work. I’ll have a lot of time during the week to explore the city and do homework and other things…but the downside is that I won’t be able to do as much traveling on the weekends. I’m still super excited to get involved, though.
After my interview, Martha drove me to the teleférico at Mt. Pichincha to meet up with the rest of the group. The teleférico is basically a cable car/gondola ride up the mountain. Once we reached the top, we could hike around on dirt paths; you are allowed to go off the beaten path, but with our program we can't (it's supposedly pretty dangerous once you get higher in the mountains...I guess people are just dying to steal from you up there). But even from where we were, it was an amazing view! We picked a pretty nice, cloud free day to go; you could see a large portion of Quito and the Andes beyond (plus 2 volcanoes, Cotopaxi included). The altitude we were at was 4100 m…you can do the conversion to feet- but we were pretty high! I took pictures...but of course they don't do it justice! Put this one on the list of must-sees when in Quito!
Tonight we went salsa dancing at a pretty fancy place with the entire group. It was a ton of fun! Expensive (for Ecuador standards)…and late (10pm-1am) but fun. Now it’s off to bed after another long, fabulous day