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Monday, January 1, 2007

Prospero Ano Nuevo!

Happy New Year!

We had a wonderful New Year's Eve at Chris and Sharon's house, back in Quito. The four of us had been away for several days, out hiking around the Quilotoa Crater Lake, staying at the Black Sheep Inn, and just got back before New Year's. That's the reason for the lack of posting for several days. We all took lots of pictures and have yet to go through them all and get them ready for posting. As we've posted before, we're in Quito right now, and by clicking on the map on the right, you can see the park that's right behind their house.

Chris and Sharon like to take walks before they go to work in the morning, but that hasn't been happening since we've been visiting... something about the late nights we've been keeping, I'm sure. The park is full of eucalyptus trees, which were introduced in the late 1800's to Ecuador. The park smells just wonderful. It has loads of trails, which are popular with mountain bikers, too.

Their house is in a great location, relative to the city and public transportation, and also right next to the park. Right at the end of their street is a major road which leads right into the city. The traffic is pretty busy sometimes, and when it is, Sharon does what she calls the "Quito Shuffle" across the street. It's sort of like the old Frogger video game...where you dodge the cars in each lane and rest in the median for a bit before continuing...

We went for a walk a while back, up into the park, and collected some pond water from a small pool, to take back to Chris' classroom. He teaches Biology at the Academia Cotopaxi American International School. Sharon is also there, working in the fourth grade classrooms.

And here we are visiting their classrooms:

The classroom that Chris teaches in is better than any science classroom I ever had, and I was quite excited to get to use one of the microscopes while he was busy doing some work. It has been more than twenty years since I'd looked through a microscope and I made up for lost time. I got the chance to look at samples from about four different aquariums and batches of brewing water in the classroom.

And THEN I discovered that I could also put the camera up to the eyepiece and take pictures through the microscope.

Here is a paramecium that I found....

And I also discovered that I could take video:

Susan was very patient with me goofing around with the microscope for quite a while...and then she left me there with Chris for a few more hours. It was great fun!

We'll be reviewing our pictures and posting more about our Quilotoa trip in a while.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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