We had MORE orientation today at USFQ. The campus is very small (even compared to PLU) because the university is fairly new. Even though it seems kind of crowded, most of the buildings we went in had stone flooring. The GAIAS people explained some stuff to us that would have been nice for IES to have communicated with us, and I feel even more confused about my visa than when I was applying for it. Wheeeee....
|Ivy League in Ecuador|
|fine dining at USFQ|
|I'm definitely not at PLU anymore|
|Definitely going to visit here often|
The first building we went into was a stone cathedral. The stone was very nice because it was much cooler inside than outside. I found it odd that we had to pay $1 to visit and that we were allowed to walk around on the squeaky floors while people were praying. The next cathedral had some of the most ridiculously elaborate goldwork I've ever seen. I think it would have been a better idea to maybe feed some poor people with the amount of money that went into the gold, but this is probably why I am not Catholic. We walked through a lot of streets, and luckily no one was hit by a car.
On the way back from Quito, we learned about why Ecuador uses the US dollar for their currency. In the late 1990s, Ecuador was experiencing an economic crisis. Because their economy depends largely on exports (bananas, oil, roses, etc), when El Niño came they were not able to export their goods because their infrastructure failed because of the flooding. By switching to USD, they were able to stabilize their rate of inflation but they are also dependent on the US's economy. The switch was full-circle when Ecuador minted some of their own coins with their historical people instead of ours; doing this helped them retain their culture.
|View of the city|
|South end of the city|