Josh and I have been in Quito now for two weeks and I have to admit, I am loving the cooler weather! We enrolled at ANETA, the Ecuadorian driving school and have been in classes for the past week. It is a 9 day course, then we have to wait 12 business days for ANETA to send our approved paperwork and completed tests to the police station, and finally we can go to the police station, take another test and get our license. It's quite a process!
We spend 2 hours per day in the classroom learning theory and then 2 hours on the road practicing. Josh already knows how to drive a stick shift, but he's using the time to learn the layout of the city and the routes in and out. That way when we have medical teams fly into Quito, we'll be prepared. I'm slowly but surely learning how to drive a stick shift and my instructor said I should have no problem passing the driving test. Another good thing is that its 4 hours a day of Spanish practice because all of the teaching is in Spanish. We had a written test last Friday which Josh and I both aced :), and our driving test is on Wednesday.
One thing we've learned from this course is that there are penalties for EVERYTHING here. You even get penalized if you accidentally run out of gas! Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, we have yet to see the police actually pull someone over for anything. ANETA has talked a TON about seat belts which is great, but it kills me how many young kids I see in the backseats of cars crawling around without seat belts on, even though the parents are wearing theirs. We make sure that everybody in our car wears their seat belts all the time!
The week before we started classes, we stayed with our friends Larry and Amanda who live here in Quito. We met them at language school in Costa Rica and while we were staying with them they took us to HCJB to learn about their mission. HCJB is a Christian radio station and they also have a hospital. It's a wonderful organization. Amanda took us to the tutoring program where she works and she let us participate in her class that she teaches! Here are some pictures of our day in the classroom:
We played "Around the World" with the kids to help them with math and also help them learn their numbers in english. Here's a video of Josh leading the game:
The kids were SOOO cute!
We have a meeting this coming week to determine what city we'll be going to after we get our licenses. We'll keep you posted!!
Love and God Bless,
Stephanie and Josh