I was excited about our extraordinary life’s first destination. We had a smooth flight with Delta, another great airline, and landed a day later in the mountains.
An unusual feeling about flying into Quito is the lack of descending, landing 2800m above sea level will do that to you. As we stepped out of the airport I took a deep breath and smiled at the thought of exploring this amazing place. I spotted the Quito sign and had to get our first family picture of our travels. With our daughter now sleep in her carrier our huge pile of luggage was stacked in and on top of our taxi, that’s right on top, as in the the roof! A sight that made me laugh. Travelling with a baby is completely different from taking my back pack.
On our journey to our new home I kept looking out the window taking it all in. The cloud pouring over the mountain tops, the houses built into the hills with incredible views and roads that moved with land.
After a day or two we’d sort of settled in and dad went back to work. I had started unpacking, went and did some shopping, another kettle purchased, and the hunt for baby food and decent nappies had begun! But what I couldn’t prepare ourselves for was the altitude! My daughter coped better than I did although she went to having 3 short naps a day for the first few weeks she was still her lively self when awake and still ate well despite the huge change. Although she wouldn’t sleep in the cot, so three in the bed it was! I on the other hand had trouble sleeping, eating and pretty much walking more than 20 minutes in one go. I threw up on the odd occasion and got very dizzy and short of breath at some point most days. This was not the only thing I struggled with, the isolation hit hard too. I spoke very little Spanish, just the basics, hello, please and thank you, can I have ect. I’d learnt enough to be polite, without knowing that very little English is spoken on a daily basis there. This made going the shops by myself hard, taking a taxi, pretty much any communication with any adult didn’t exist.
I tried to ensure that we got out of the apartment by walking to the local park despite being out of breath with the lack of oxygen It was worth it for my daughter to be outside playing on the grass, and to visit the play area as she loves the slide! The view of the mountain range was unreal and a huge part of me felt so lucky to see such beauty. During the weekend we had hired a car and drove to ‘the middle of the world’, a tiny village that the equator line runs through, all 3 of us standing with one foot in each hemisphere is one of my favourite memories, and it was for these moments as a family that we chose this way of life. But despite all this at the beginning of week 3 I broke into tears, I felt exhausted, alone, suffering attitude sickness and most of all guilty that I wasn’t a 100% myself to give my daughter the attention she wanted or needed. I spent 2 days on off crying and I thought about giving up, going home and trying for the next job site dad would have. But giving up isn’t in my nature, even just out of sheer stubbornness to not admit I couldn’t do what I set out to. So we stayed even if it was a struggle, I was doing this for our family, for my daughter to shout daddy when the front door opened! With my mind set on we will keep trying here dad swapped to night shifts so at least he could have breakfast with us, I started taking travel sickness tablets to ease the altitude sickness, and more importantly we found a facebook group of English speaking mums in Quito!
By the end of week 3 I was feeling more positive! My daughter had gone back to a longer nap, that gave me a little break in the day. We had found some baby snacks and freeze dried banana’s that my daughter loved so much we purchased 30 packets in one go. The tablets eased the sickness and i’d also found a ‘mums Cafe’ just one street over from where we were staying. A place that kept me sane!
Week 4 –
I used everything I could think of to keep my daughter entertained from movie watching at 4am still on the wrong timezone to buying packs of balloons just blow up and let them wizz around the room that she found hilarious. We made drums out of saucepan’s and wooden spoons, a good old trick that every generation has used. Creating a bath out of the mini swimming pool I’d packed incase we had a garden was one of my best moves and it stayed in the shower for the whole 2 months we were there, it also made bathing her fun rather than trying to shower her.
I took the short stroll feeling like id ran a marathon to the ‘mums cafe’. A place I fell in love with. I’d never known a cafe like it, made just for mums. It had the usual long counter full of food, from fresh fruit to scrumptious cakes and best of all coffee! The tables were lay out at the front opposite the counter with rocking chair and cribs, an idea that to me was a great invention who ever though of it, high chairs and best of all a whole area filled with toys, wall to wall mirrors, floor mats, a sofa, and a table for colouring. My daughter was in her element, she hadn’t seen this many toys in weeks. This became my saving grace every Tuesday morning and was the place I made a friend for life.