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Ecuador -Part 8

Posted on Feb 15 2004 under Diary of the ONE | Tags: , , ,

Life is certainly cheap, the people have always been poor and the politicians & big business have always been corrupt. They rush around the city “As if they own it” in the big American blacked out 4×4’s, police escort, sirens wailing.

The locals call them “cabrones” the thief/rat.

The majority of the Latin people seem humble and genuine, possibly a result of not having too much in life like the west, great value is placed on family & friends.

When my ex Cecilia first moved to England from Ecuador around 7 years ago her first impressions were, I Quote
“You English you’re so cold, you have no respect, no love. All you are concerned with is money & status”
She went on to explain in disbelief about how we treat our parents when they get old. “You just send them away to a home when they are too much trouble, this would never happen in our country” You know what, she’s dead right; you would be hard pushed to find a nursing home in Latin America.

Even their language expresses respect, the word is changed slightly when talking to an elder, adding the overtone of respect to what is being said or asked. Thus from a very early age respect is a big part of Latin culture.

I’m not saying they are without their problems, if you happen to be a foreigner you instantly become a target for robbing or mugging. The average wage is around $300 p/m, not every much. A green gringo wandering around unaware makes an easy target for the opportunist; even just wearing a watch worth $50 can get you killed real easy.

The one that is out to get you ask no questions, give no warning, they attack with a knife or a gun usually stabbing or shooting you first as a shock tactic. The next thing you know, hopefully, is waking up in hospital wondering what happened.
There is much good advice as to where not to go & what not to do, you can avoid the trouble quite easily but you need to stay very aware at all times.

A week after arriving in Quito we left for a small village called Canoa, a rural fishing village with the most beautiful beach. Zulu, Cece’s fried & Jose her husband own a hostel there “Casa Bambu” a lovely piece of paradise right on the beach.

The buildings are all made from bamboo using the local styles & methods, most beautiful “cabanas” were built surrounded by tropical plants & trees & hammocks.

A few days after our arriving, a Welsh man and his woman arrived; they both looked a little worse for wear. Later over a couple of relaxing cocktails he explained his story to those sat at the bar.
He had arrived in Quito 4 days ago; they had been offered a flight by their travel agent to compensate for mistakes with the flights on their previous holiday. They had decided to come to Ecuador; they had a two week return flight.

After landing around 8pm, they had decided to drop the bags at their hotel & go out to find something to eat.
10 minuets after dropping the bags at the hotel, whilst walking down the road two boys aged 15/16 jumped out from a corner street & stabbed him twice in the chest with a 10” carving knife.

The attackers said nothing, but the shock tactics worked well enough; the poor chap fell to his knees without a word. They stole his watch & $20 dollars from his wallet. (£500 Tag watch on show, not good, not good at all)
He was in hospital for 3 days, he was extremely lucky, one of the wounds had just missed his lung the other narrowly missed his heart. Once out of the hospital they checked out of their hotel and jumped on a bus heading for the beach.

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