For our five-week trip to Quito, Ecuador, the kids, ages 18 and 15, and I competed for the lightest backpack. At 20 pounds and two ounces, mine weighed the most; the girl’s, at just under 16 pounds, the lightest.
Quito, at 9,000 feet above sea level, sits in the foothills of an active volcano in the Andes. We had volunteered to work in a kindergarten for the indigent. Every morning, we took a bus and stopped in front of two huge dumpsters, spilling over with rotted vegetables, reeking of urine and fermented fruits. The street led into a huge municipal market. To the right of the entrance was the kindergarten, four big sunny rooms that were disinfectant clean.
My kids loved the one-year-olds. They didn’t mind changing diapers, spoon-feeding, and chasing babies who crawled, walked, got up and fell down like a scene from a zombie movie but with really cute zombies. After my last child, I’m very done with diapers. I stayed with the 3-year-olds.