With a jolt of excitement, I rushed downstairs this morning to see if we were getting coverage of the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama. I was happy to see that on channel 30, we were in fact seeing CNN International, in Spanish, yet showing the same coverage of Washington D.C.
I went downstairs after quickly downing my soup lunch at 11:30 to see the beginning of the festivities. A new guest in the hostel, a Scottish girl, joined me on the couch. The scenes were incredible, with apparently 2 million people at The Mall to see the historic event. Within a few minutes, however, the TV started cutting out, and though we had audio, the video went black. I was pretty disappointed, because your country only inaugurates its first black president once.
Within a couple of minutes my host mom, Cecilia, told us to come upstairs and watch on the small TV in the family room. We watched quietly as the festivities went on. I was a little nervous because I had to leave for work by 12:30, and I wanted to see everything. My fears were relieved soon though as the swearing in took place. It sent chills just to see it all and I couldn't help but let a smile rip out across my face. It was historic.
The only drawback was that the speech was being dubbed over in Spanish, so it was basically taking away from the impact of it all for me, and though I was piecing it together by bits and pieces, it eventually got me in a zone out mode and I didn't hear much of anything. So at some point in the future I'll have to get a transcript of the speech or see a video of it. Yet it was still a thrill to be able to see it and see how the Ecuadorians were excited about it as well. Even the Scottish girl was excited.
And for the rest of the day I was able to carry that same feeling around with me. It was a beautiful feeling. Tomorrow we leave for the coast, headed toward Puerto Lopez. Hopefully the strike that began this morning won't make too much of a problem for us. And then it's a couple of days of conferences and hanging out with friends from Quito. It should be a nice little weekend. There will definitely be photos and stories to come.