Oh my. We have just spent the past few hours walking through stall upon stall upon stall of as many kinds of jeans in as many colors as you can imagine...and then some more. We had no idea. Our heads are so full its hard to even know how to write!
We obviously have arrived safe and sound in Ecuador. Our only hitch was a cancelled flight out of Atlanta but we got good exercise (and good conversation) out of several hours of walking the airport. We are the resident experts on each terminal! Our hosts in Quito are great and it was awesome to see old friends. Our efforts to learn Spanish on the plane have been at least a mild success because we took a taxi to meet our new friends this morning with no major event.
So today has been an utter whirlwind. We drove several hours through the Andes to the jeans producing region with a professor of economics and her grad student-driver-translator. They are delightful. And we have learned quite a lot about economics, politics, history, environmental issues, human rights of Ecuador, Latin America, the world and of each region we passed through. Wow. Not to mention that we talked a lot about the jeans industry! Fascinating stuff even if it is a brain stretch!
So tomorrow we meet with the Pelileo Guru of Jeans, the granddaddy, the Don...and learn even more. Then we´ll meet with little producers up in the hills. Apparently we´ll need the 4-wheel drive. Lots and lots to process. We had no idea the magnitude and capability of the Pelileo jean industry.
Gayle is the greatest. I hope all of you reading this have a friend who would willingly go with you on a 3rd world adventure! If not, please go seek one out! We´re enjoying being together and its great to have a likeminded friend to hash things out with.