Thursday, July 16, 2009

Scarey Night in Cayambe

Let me start this off by saying I am fine, and no major harm was done. Mom - I didn't tell you this on the phone this morning because #1 I didn't have much time and #2 I didn't think freaking you out would be a good birthday present. Again . . . Happy Birthday! Enjoy your Rockie's hot dog, all of you headed there tonight to celebrate!! (And please don't let me forget that I want one too when I get home!)

Now, here's what happened last night. I left my house at around 4pm to use the interned, and to pick up a couple things for my host dad at the grocery store. On my way there, everything seemed normal. I got the stuff from the grocery store first, and then hopped online. At around 6:30 they were trying to close up the internet place (as I mentioned in my blog entry yesterday), so I finished up quickly and got ready to go. The internet place I was using is in a centro commercial (kind of like what we would call a mall), and as I was walking through the halls my eyes were burning. I thought it was just a strong cleaner or something that they were using on the floors or something. But as I walked outside, there were lots of people scattered around and in groups, and there were lots of small fires in the middle of streets. By then my throat was burning a little as well. I just walked quickly towards home, but I saw police had blocked off at least one of the streets, and they were in full gear with masks and shields. As I was walking up one of the main streets, I heard gunshots and a crowd of people running towards me. I am already freaking out at this point, but I have no idea what was going on, so ask a lady standing at the entrance to her restaurant what happened. She ushers me in and tries to explain to me what was happening, but I didn't really understand what she was trying to tell me. I sat with her for a little while, and then headed home. When I got home I was having a mini panic attack, and I tried to get my parents to explain to me what was going on. I still don't understand fully what went on, but here is what I did pick up. On Tuesday night, a passenger killed a camioneta (taxi truck) driver, and yesterday was some sort of riot against the police. Like I said, I don't really understand. When I do figure it out, I will blog about it. Turns out that was my first experience with tear gas. Even today my eyes were burning a little. I don't think any more of the gas has been relased, but it is still lingering around. My friend noticed it too after we finished teaching English today. I also noticed that some of the pillars in the beautiful park have been knocked over and broken. I am glad I was only around for the tail end of whatever when on. Again, I'm alright, it was just unnerving. And I kept thinking, this would never happen in Canada. But this is not Canada. I will post more about this if I figure more out. Maybe I will try to understand a local newspaper. And don't worry! I am being extra careful.


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