Molly Brown’s Diary
Climate Change, Canopies and Wildlife in the Ecuadorian Andes

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September 22, 2009: I’m leaving on a jet plane…

I left Lafayette for the Indianapolis Airport at 11:00 am. I parked in the long term parking and had so much to juggle. I had my large backpack that I borrowed from a friend and a duffle bag with my boots and sleeping bag, and a carry-on back pack. When I arrived at the Continental desk to check in for my flight it was not crowded. It took me no time to check in for both flights, check my baggage, and go through security. My plane left Indy at 3:00 pm for the flight to Houston, TX. From Houston I caught the flight to Quito, Ecuador. Both of my flights arrived on schedule. When I go off my flight in Quito I followed the crowd to customs. We had filled out the forms on the plane so when the next window opened up I gave the woman at the counter my form and passport. She stamped my passport and I was on my way to claim my bags. Once I got all of my bags I went through the customs baggage check. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. They just scanned the bags and I was in Quito! Walking out of the customs baggage area was crazy. There were close to a hundred people standing there waiting for people to pickup or yelling that they would give you a cab ride. It was overwhelming and at first I did not see the driver from the hostel. I had made arrangements before I left to be picked up and taken to the hostel. There was one man there in a window who spoke English. He pointed me in the right direction and I found my driver to the Hostel Posada del Maple and we were on our way. He spoke no English and I know little Spanish so it was a quiet ride. Quiet but not slow! I felt like I was in a NASCAR race. It was 11:30 pm Quito time but the only cars on the road were cabs and utility vehicles. We were literally in the middle of the road at times! It took about 10 minutes but we arrived at the hostel to find a policeman out front…comforting! It was $10.00 for the ride and I found out later that was twice what I should have paid but I thought it was a great price. At the entrance to the hostel you had to ring a bell and the innkeeper came and let me in. She spoke no English (boy I wish I had studied more Spanish!) but we managed and I got my key to room. Looking forward to meeting Denis and Agi tomorrow!

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