Saturday, March 08, 2008

Ecuador-The Unbearable Lightness of Being

After three buses and more than 24 hours in transit, I am now esconsed at the "Backpacker´s Inn" here in Quito. I remember traveling in Prague in January of 1990 right after the wall came down, and I was struck with a similar feeling wandering through the bus station here in Quito. Time slowed down and my senses seemed to absorb everything. On the bus from the border I met a local indian woman named Rosita, pictured here. Crossing the border, I changed some of my extra Colombian currency for what they use in Ecuador, the U.S dollar. I was struck by the poverty and that this country got "dollarized" helps to explain its continuing exploitation.Before getting on the bus in Medellin I watched Uribe and Chavez on the television at the Rio Group meeting, (along with the rest of Colombia that was glued to the set), and was struck by the nodding heads of many Latin American presidents as Chavez spoke. In the past the United States would have gotten away helping to take Chavez out in 2003 and similarly not much would ahve come of the murder of Reyes. But now, the tide has tunned and many of the presidents of Latin America have escaped from being dominated by the United States. Bush and Company of course don´t like this and talk about fighting terrorism, but the majority of the world is really sick of the rhetoric. The cat is out of the bag and as Europe and Asia grow stronger, the United States is left looking more and more like the proverbial ""Emperor with No Clothes" living in a house of cards.countries nodded the and entering into Ecuador I was struck by the poverty

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